Energy Strategy, Technology, and Current Issues in the Oil Industry
Energy Overview / Current Issues in Energy

Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.


Issue:
Environmental challenges in the Energy Industry / Oil and Gas Exploration

 
Concerns about spills, emissions, and pollution of aquifers has made environmental protection a hot button issue, with numerous activists and activist groups. New regulations make obtaining permits, and also compliance quite difficult.
 
Environmental concerns include (but are not confined to) the following areas:
 
    Noise pollution and negative electromagnetic fields around wind farms;
    Water usage which exacerbates shortages during a drought (hydraulic fracturing, etc.)
    Disposing of flowback and produced water
    Hydraulic fracturing: ground water pollution plus induced seismicity
    Oil spills
    Workplace accidents and catastrophic explosions (example:Macondo)
    Infrastructure impacts on the environment:  high-voltage cross-country electricity transmission line, pipeline through wilderness areas and fragile ecosystems
    Induced seismicity due to injection of water
    Toxic elements used in solar photovoltaic batteries
 
Readings

Water Processing Options / Approaches (Lewis Environmental Presentation)
http://www.gwpc.org/sites/default/files/event-sessions/19r_Lewis_Tom.pdf

Environmental Impact by Energy Source
http://www.energy4me.org/energy-facts/environmental-protection/environmental-impact-by-source/

Energy and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities
http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/press_room/967.htm

Guiding Questions:
 
How can environmental issues impact an energy company?
 
What are some of the most publicized environmental issues?  Name a few examples.