Energy News: Fracking Could Crack Carbon Capture; Shell Gets Another Arctic Drilling OK; More

Not to be a downer, but there's a quartet of concerning news this morning worth paying attention to.

Carbon Capture Projects Could Be Endangered By Fracking
New Scientist reports on the impact that fracking could have on carbon capture projects: Princeton University researchers ay that 80% of the US's potential underground storage of CO2 that could be used in the carbon capture and storage projects overlaps with shale gas fields. Meaning, fracking could potentially crack the rock above these storage areas, either eliminating their usefulness, or allowing stored CO2 to escape.

Shell Gets Arctic Drilling OK From Interior Department
Shell's plans for starting exploratory drilling in the Beaufort Sea (pictured above) have been approved by the Interior Department, Huffington Post reports. Understandably, green groups are not pleased. Cindy Shogan of the Alaska Wilderness League: "There is no viable way to clean up an oil spill in the extreme conditions of the America's Arctic Ocean...We can only hope that President Obama shows the leadership he promised and refuses to bow to the demands of Big Oil by not granting Shell the final permits it needs to begin drilling in July."

Koch Brothers Help Finance $3.6m Gas Price Ads Against Obama
Though it's been conclusively shown that the President (any president) has little influence over the price of gas, the Koch Brothers have been linked with a $3.6 million ad campaign that tries to convince voters that President Obama is the reason energy prices are rising.

The American Energy Alliance’s ad campaign, which launches Friday in eight states, hammers Obama for his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline and recycles a 2008 quote from Energy Secretary Steven Chu about the benefits of European-level gas prices.

The ads come after the Kochs’ primary political group, Americans for Prosperity, earlier this year launched a $6 million ad campaign calling out Obama over the now-defunct, government-subsidized maker of solar power components, Solyndra. (Politico)

Surprised in the slightest? I'm not.

NRDC Bashes Senate Vote Against Ending Oil Subsidies
I could say this better myself, so I'll just quote:

The Senate today rejected a proposal that would have cut billions in oil industry tax breaks and directed revenues toward reducing the deficit and supporting clean energy programs that could help wean us from our dependence on oil.

Following is a statement from Scott Slesinger, legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“The spectacle of the Senate Republican leadership unabashedly preserving corporate welfare for the oil industry – at a time of skyrocketing industry profits and soaring gas prices – is mindboggling.

“Rather than continuing to subsidize the richest companies in the world, we should be supporting policies that encourage more choices for Americans beyond the oil industry’s monopoly on our transportation system.

“We ought to be supporting the clean energy entrepreneurs and American innovators who are developing ways we can reduce our addiction to oil, decrease pollution and improve our national security - not the giant oil conglomerates who are keeping us stuck in the past.” (NRDC)

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