Energy News: Commercial Buildings Get There Own Solar Lease Program, Lakota Fast Against Tar Sands

A nice list of note-if-not-full-post-worthy energy news today: More on the continuing North Sea gas drilling leak, protests against tar sands pipelines on both sides of the Canada-US border, and a great commercial solar lease program.

Greenpeace Visits North Sea Gas Leak Site
Total's work on capping their leaking gas drilling platform in the North Sea continues, as Greenpeace voyages to the edge of exclusion zone surround the area (remember this is highly flammable methane...). Maritime Executive reports:

Greenpeace representatives did report seeing oil on the water, but Total reported that it was a gas condensate sheen and said it posed no threat to any marine wildlife. Reports from aboard the ship also describe a faint smell of gas in the air, and a definite multi-colored sheen. Total presumes that the sheen will evaporate on its own, but have prepared a Hercules military transport plane to spray dispersant over the area’s waters around the rig if necessary.

Commercial Building Owners Have New Solar Lease Program
We've sung the praises of residential solar lease programs as a good way for homeowners to go solar with low to no upfront costs (or ever owning the panels...), now owners of commercial buildings with large flat roofs have a new solar lease program as well. New Jersey-based GeoGenix is now offering 15-year power purchase agreements for commercial solar leases in mid-Atlantic states. Good stuff. Read more: PV Magazine.

Lakota Hunger Strike Against Keystone XL Underway
It's nearly over now, but members of the Lakota Nation in the Dakotas are fasting in protest of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in specific and tar sands pipelines in general. Debra White Plume, quoted in Huffington Post:

This pipeline is about rich people getting richer, this pipeline is about raping Mother Earth and feeding the machine. For us this pipeline is genocide for us and the First Nations people in Canada. I think our native nations will stay opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline and stay opposed to other pipelines that come through here because we understand that water is a gift from our Grandfather, it’s a gift of life. Our leaders understand that and they’re not going to make a deal. It’s a battle for our water, it’s a battle for our children. These are our grandchildren at the hunger strike, we’re really proud of them for going hungry for Mother Earth and for their elders who are doing this.

Meanwhile, in British Columbia...

Hearing On Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Suspended Due To Protest reports:

In a bizarre turn of events, the Enbridge Pipeline hearings were suspended in Bella Bella in northern British Columbia yesterday after the panel members expressed concerns about their safety. This development seems curious, as the Joint Review panel members have the full weight  of the federal government behind them, and the RCMP were present for the protests which greeted the panel. NDP MLA Gary Coons arrived on the same plane, and confirmed that all he witnessed was a peaceful protest. The RCMP agreed, with their spokesperson stating: “From what I understand it was a peaceful demonstration – there were religious regalia being worn by band members and there was drumming, and singing as well, at the airport.”

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