Federal fossil fuel-well cleanup may exceed $6 billion. Guess who gets some of that tab?

❝ “Cleaning up the tens of thousands oil and gas wells on U.S. federal land after they stop producing could cost over $6 billion, and taxpayers may need to pitch in, according to an analysis of state and federal data commissioned by a conservation watchdog group.” The analysis by consultancy ECONorthwest on behalf of the Center for Western Priorities, estimates the potential reclamation costs for the 94,096 oil and gas wells now producing on federal lands at $6.1 billion. The study pointed out the figure is likely several times higher than the amount the government has collected from oil and gas companies for the purposes of well reclamation – and taxpayers could be liable for some of the difference.

Our politicians remain as thoughtful as ever about passing along expenses from their corruption. To taxpayers.

Cleanup crews near Fukushima Nuclear Plant dump waste in rivers

According to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, cleanup crews working near the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, “dumped soil and leaves contaminated with radioactive fallout into rivers.”

The allegation, supported by photographs, was made in the three-part report “Crooked Cleanup,” published on Friday on the Japanese newspaper’s English-language site, Asia and Japan Watch.

A team of journalists who observed the decontamination work in the region last month added: “Water sprayed on contaminated buildings has been allowed to drain back into the environment. And supervisors have instructed workers to ignore rules on proper collection and disposal of the radioactive waste.”

Workers were apparently aware that they were breaking rules, the paper reported:

…At 13 locations in Naraha, Iitate and Tamura, workers were seen simply dumping collected soil and leaves as well as water used for cleaning rather than securing them for proper disposal. Photographs were taken at 11 of those locations.

The reporters also talked to about 20 workers who said they were following the instructions of employees of the contracted companies or their subcontractors in dumping the materials. A common response of the workers was that the decontamination work could never be completed if they adhered to the strict rules.

Heartwarming to see US municipal standards being applied around the world:

1. The contract goes to the lowest bidder – regardless of quality.

2. Getting the job done on time is more important than accomplishing the task to standard.

Fleet of electric trucks heading for Port of Los Angeles

The standing joke about the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach used to be that they were like the diesel version of elephant graveyards: the place where old trucks went to die. But lately, they have become a proving ground for technology that produces little or no pollution.

On Tuesday, the first of 25 heavy-duty all-electric trucks rolled off a new Los Angeles assembly line. All are slated to work at the Port of Los Angeles or to make short hauls to and from the harbor. The small fleet results from a partnership involving the Port of Los Angeles, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and a small business called Balqon Corp…

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have launched the nation’s most ambitious port cleanup effort, which bans the oldest and dirtiest trucks and charges cargo fees to help fund the purchase of thousands of new clean diesel and natural gas trucks. The ports also have been offering seed money for promising new technologies.

The Nautilus E30 has a range of 40 miles (under a full load) to 60 miles (when not hauling). It powers up by plugging into a 230-volt or 480-volt charger for about three hours.

Balqon Chief Executive Balwinder Samra received $527,000 from the L.A. port and the air board to fund development of the electric truck. As part of the deal, Samra moved his company from Orange County to Harbor City, near the port, and he will pay a royalty of $1,000 to the port and the air board for every truck he sells that isn’t used at the port.

Bravo! I spent way too much time on the export side of international commerce watching tired old diesels roll down to wheeze and wait to offload at cargo terminals.

I wonder if they’ve gotten rid of the need for bribes to get your shipment out in time, as well.