Blog Posts: January 2017

January 27th, 2017

Rick Perry, Gas Exporter-In-Chief?

By Peter Hart (reposted from Food & Water Watch)

In 2011, former Texas governor Rick Perry counted the Department of Energy among the government agencies he would eliminate as president—until he famously couldn’t remember the department’s name during a Republican debate.

Naturally, the very same Rick Perry was tapped by the Trump administration to run the Energy Department. And according to the New York Times, Perry accepted the job thinking that it had quite a bit to do with oil and gas drilling. While that would have been especially convenient to his corporate backers, Perry has by now discovered that most of the Department of Energy’s work concerns nuclear weapons and government scientific research facilities.

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January 26th, 2017

2017 – Food & Water Europe Is Ready To Stand Its Ground

By Andy Gheorghiu, Frida Kieninger, David Sánchez

Many people said 2016 was a bad year. And there were many reasons: the result of the US elections, Brexit, or the high toll of environmental activists that were killed for standing for their communities around the globe. We don’t know what 2017 will look like, but we are sure that we want to be ready for some of the challenges we will find for our food, our water, our climate and our democracy. Together, we need to make 2017 a better year. And united we will have the power to do so!

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January 19th, 2017

Dutch Gas Extraction and “Gas Quakes”

By Frida Kieninger

Image of home damaged by earthquake.

Propped up home destabilized by several smaller and medium earthquakes close to Uithuizen, Groningen

Many homes in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium are heated with gas from the Netherlands. Along with a few smaller gas fields, the Groningen gas field supplies around 15 percent of Europe’s gas consumption.

In 1959 the Dutch oil and gas company NAM surprisingly discovered a huge gas field – the tenth biggest gas field in the world and the largest in Europe. Over the years, NAM produced around 1700 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in the Groningen fields and estimates that there are around 1000bcm left underground.

In the seventies, gas production was highest and peaked with over 80bcm of gas produced in 1976. It rose again significantly in 2013, and many people living in and around the gas fields also have an explanation why: Before 2013, the magnitude and the frequency of earthquakes rose and the damage could no longer be ignored. Given that the earthquakes are unmistakeably linked to large scale gas extraction in the region (even Shell and ExxonMobil acknowledge that), the operating gas companies knew they would soon be limited in the amount of gas they could extract and went all out to extract the then fixed maximum possible amount of gas of 53bcm – probably for the last time.

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