A new report prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNR) circulating in the Kremlin today states that Russian environmental scientists have become “horrified” over the past fortnight after President Obama opened up for fracking (with virtually no public notice) and then abruptly auctioned off 21.6 million acres of the most sensitive areas of the Gulf of Mexico to the major US energy companies that had, in effect, paid to put him in office.
According to this report, on 20 August, Obama ordered his Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) to conduct an auction of these 21.6 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, and which afterwards BP America, who was responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico catastrophe, was said to be the “big winner”.
Of the greatest danger to Obama’s allowing fracking in this environmentally sensitive region, this report continues, is that it sits in what is called the Lower Tertiary basin (which has been coined as the “final frontier of oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico” worth over $1.5 trillion) and is an ancient layer of the earth’s crust made of dense rock and which is “potentially catastrophic” for current offshore fracking operations.
Like the land-based version, a recent US report points out, offshore fracking involves injecting a mixture of water and chemicals into the seafloor, is understood to be risky, and the risks poorly understood. In a recentBloomberg investigation, an engineer at Halliburton, the world’s leader in fracking, described deepwater drilling as “the most challenging, harshest environment that we’ll be working in.”
Even when things go right, Emily Jeffers, a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, explained to the Salon News Service, there don’t seem to have been any studies of the process’ potential environmental impacts (a representative for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed as much to Bloomberg).
And while drinking water contamination isn’t the main concern here the way it is on land, the potential for air pollution, earthquakes and the general disruption to marine life from increased traffic and lighting are all cited as risks. Most importantly, there’s the question of what happens to fracking’s byproduct.
Under the current, EPA-mandated system, wastewater is treated and then dumped back into the Gulf, “where dilution renders it harmless” — but critics say more needs to be studied about its potential impact. It would help, too, if companies were required to disclose their “proprietary blends” of fracking chemicals. Said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity, “nobody knows what they’ve been discharging and in what amounts.”
But the main concern, emphasized Jeffers, is the potential for a catastrophic blowout, which could cause a disaster of the type we’ve seen with conventional oil drilling — only with the added bonus of those toxic chemicals polluting the water as well.
Important to note, MNR experts in this report say, is that the fracking environmental catastrophe now being allowed to occur in the Gulf of Mexico by Obama is, likewise, being prevented in eastern Ukraine by Russian separatists forces battling neo-Nazi armies from Kiev that have been flooding into the region and have been basically protecting the fracking equipment of Burisma Holdings.
Burisma Holdings, this report says it’s important to note, is currently directing the war in Ukraine through two of its board members, R. Hunter Biden, who is the son of the current US Vice President Joseph Biden, and Devon Archer, a former campaign manager of the current US Secretary of State. John Kerry.
Archer, in fact, in gloating last year of his and Biden’s company’s potential eastern Ukrainian gas reserves stated that “today Burisma Holdings reminds me of Exxon in its early days.”
Standing in the way of Biden and Archer and their plans to destroy the environment of eastern Ukraine (and by extension Crimea and the Black Sea), however, this report says, are the peoples in the region who in February or March, a visitor wouldn’t have heard fear of war but fear of fracking, with residents fearful their land would be destroyed, and not that Obama would unleash Kiev’s neo-Nazi thugs against them.
Kiev’s plan for this region, in fact, was to set up a joint venture with Shell Oil through Burisma Holdings and drill for shale gas around Slavyansk to eventually produce 8 billion to 11 billion cubic meters of gas yearly — nearly 20 percent of what Ukrainian consumers need. A similar $10 billion deal was reached with Chevron for exploration in western Ukraine.
For even daring to sympathize with the peoples of eastern Ukraine fearing their lands and waterways would be destroyed by Burisma Holdings, this report continues, the Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, this past June, accused Russia of secretly working with environmental groupscampaigning against fracking in an attempt to maintain Europe’s dependence on energy imports from Moscow, a spurious charge angrily responded to by a Greenpeace spokesman who said:
“Greenpeace had thirty of its people locked up in Russian prisons last year, threatened with fifteen years in jail. The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at NATO HQ. Mr Rasmussen should spend less time dreaming up conspiracy theories and more time on the facts. Fracked gas will probably cost more than Russian imports, there’s little chance fracking will generate more than a small fraction of Europe’s gas needs and it won’t even do that for at least ten years.”
To the real cause of this Ukrainian conflict it is, perhaps most simply, best described by the US based Truthout News Service that elucidates their readers by stating:
“Imagine in this country if President Obama and Vice President Biden were to send troops into upstate New York, which has opposed oil/gas drilling, and bombed Rochester, bombed Buffalo, and began just bombing the cities and shooting the opponents of the fracking. That’s exactly what’s happening in the Ukraine. There’s a diversion of water away from agriculture towards the fracking. Make the Western Ukraine look something like Ireland in the 19th century, when the British landlords owned much of the Irish land, put sheep on it, getting rid of the people on the land.”
Unfortunately for Obama and his oil company backers like Biden and Archer who have left Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya in tatters, they have met their match in President Putin who reminded them all this week that Russia’s armed forces are backed by its nuclear arsenal and was ready to meet any aggression by declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”