Saturday, February 23, 2013

e timor mulls dumping australia's woodside -

e timor mulls dumping australia's woodside -
Casting aside Woodside's $US20 billion ($A19.62 billion) investment would also mean revenues are not split with Australia.

The Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) signed by Australia and East Timor came into effect in February 2007, setting a deadline of Saturday for the two sides to agree on how to process the gas.

"Maybe we'll decide (to process the gas) unilaterally but we have to decide with the foreign affairs (ministry) of Australia," Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Alfredo Pires told reporters on Thursday.


  1. Well thats the deadline - today.
    Not a good sign.


    What could we do,fix up,with over $40 billion?
    Just about anything.

    But Australia intends spending over $40 billion,for purchase and spares,on this proven lemon!


    Pentagon Orders F-35 Jets Grounded

    The Pentagon said on Friday that it had grounded all of its stealthy new F-35 fighter jets after an inspection found a crack in a turbine blade in the engine of one of the planes.

    The suspension of flights comes at an awkward time for the military, which is facing automatic budget cuts that could slow its purchases of the planes. The Pentagon grounded all three versions of the jets — for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines — on Thursday while it investigated the problem.

    Lockheed Martin, which makes the high-tech plane, said 64 of the jets would be affected. The Pentagon estimates that it could spend as much as $396 billion to buy 2,456 of the jets by the late 2030s. But the program, the most expensive in military history, has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, and it could easily become a target for budget cutters.

    The Marines also had to suspend operation of their version from Jan. 18 through Feb. 13 because of a problem with a crimped hose in the fuel system.

    The Pentagon office that runs the program said the crack in the turbine blade was discovered on Tuesday in a routine inspection.


    Never trust the bastards,never believe what they say.
    How many thousands of years were these tanks supposed to last?


    Underground tanks leak nuclear waste in US

    At least six underground tanks containing nuclear waste in the north-western US state of Washington are leaking, but a spokeswoman says there is no imminent threat to public health.

    The US Energy Department told the state last week that one tank was leaking at the Hanford nuclear site.

    But energy secretary Steven Chu informed its governor Jay Inslee on Friday that more leaks had been discovered.

    "Secretary Chu let him know today that there are actually more tanks they've discovered leaking, at least six, possibly more," Mr Inslee's spokeswoman Jaime Smith told AFP.

    "At this point we don't believe that there's any imminent threat to public health. Of course we're concerned, because we don't have any information yet about the extent of the leak or how long they've been going on."

    We're not clear yet on exactly what has been leaking for how long."

    The Hanford nuclear site in the south-west of the US state was used to produce plutonium for the bomb that brought an end to World War II.

    Output grew after 1945 to meet the challenges of the Cold War, but the last reactor closed down in 1987. Its website says: "Weapons production processes left solid and liquid wastes that posed a risk to the local environment."

    It is the Western hemisphere's most contaminated nuclear site, with 200 million litres of radioactive waste stored in aging tanks and billions of dollars a year invested in clean-up.

    The ecological threat extends to the Columbia River, it added, noting that in 1989 US federal and Washington state authorities agreed on a deal to clean up the Hanford Site.


    Remember back in the 50's and 60's how they used to dump 44 gallon drums of the stuff,and other horrible poisons,into any deep water trench that was handy?


    1. The Feds dont have a clue.

      We'll buy US jets despite groundings: PM

      A 2009 Australian Defence White Paper found that a fleet of up to 100 of the jets would be needed, but only two have been purchased so far.

      Ms Gillard said the purchase would still go through, despite the grounding of the jets.

      "We'll continue to monitor and be in discussions about issues that have arisen and need to be addressed in the performance of the joint strike fighter," she told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

      "But we do have the agreement to purchase two and we will go ahead with that purchase."

      She said her government won't allow a gap to arise in the nation's air warfare capabilities.


      If they had a hundred of these planes there would still be a giant gap because they are useless.

      These jets,more submarines,oh God,the last subs were a joke,and there were the helicopters,built from 40 year old airframes.
      100's of billions of $'s down the drain.


      Single parents must pay for the MRRT failure.
      (single parents cant afford a $20 million media campaign)


      SINGLE parents will get up to $127 extra a fortnight, be allowed to work more hours and access more job flexibility under a Greens proposal.

      Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt this morning said the plan to increase support for single parents hit by a recent Gillard government crackdown would cost $340 million and be funded by changes to the mining tax.

      At least 74,000 single parents have been moved on to Newstart since January 1 under changes introduced by the government. The move, heavily criticised by social welfare groups, unions and even some Labor backbenchers, will save the government $728 million over four years and cost single parents up to $223 a fortnight.

      Mr Bandt told ABC's Insiders program that the government was making more from single parents than they were from the mining tax.

      "Labor really slugged single parents - especially from the first of January this year - who are now forced to live on Newstart," he said. "We are going to put forward a proposal that will allow single parents to work more hours, keep more of that money and have greater rights to flexible working arrangements with their employers, together with a small funding boost in their single parenting supplement all up, that will cost about $340 million."

      Mr Bandt said the Greens could pay for this policy by "closing just one of the loopholes in the mining tax and you would have change left over".


      Good luck to the Greens with that one.

  2. About time.

    Labor plans changes to 457 visa conditions

    The Federal Government has announced changes to conditions for foreign workers on 457 visas.

    Employers will be required to demonstrate there is a genuine skills shortage, and they will not be able to send foreign workers to an area where local skilled workers are available.

    The Government will also close a loophole allowing foreign workers to be paid less than local workers.

    Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor says the changes will reduce the number of 457 visa applications, which have outstripped national employment growth.

    "We have seen too many examples of abuse across the nation," he said.

    "We have seen situations where people's jobs have been dressed up to be so-called skilled jobs, but in fact when they come here, they are working in unskilled areas."

    Speaking to ABC News 24, Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos said the Coalition would consider the plan in full before deciding whether to back it.

    But he said it was possible to make conditions for a 457 visa too tough.

    (too tough for Gina and Twiggy must be)


    The terrible cost for Chinas boom.


    China's pollution chiefs reject lucrative chances to test the waters

    ENVIRONMENT protection chiefs in China are being taunted with challenges: cash rewards if they dare to swim in the rivers for which they are responsible.

    To no one's surprise, given the reeking state of many waterways of industrial China, the rewards, offered online, have not been claimed.

    The first offer, made this week by the owner of a company in Zhejiang province, was RMB200,000 ($30,000) for 20 minutes in the foetid Rui'an river. Photographs were attached, showing water full of rubbish and seething with orange foam.

    Other deals followed: $44,000 for 30 minutes in Cangan county, and $15,000 for a 10-minute dip in the southern factory heartland of Dongguan.

    As word of the offers spread online, hundreds of pictures were posted of hideously polluted rivers - many taken in the home towns to which urban workers returned during last week's new year holidays.

    The damage to the environment cannot be concealed. Official data, which many believe understates the problem, shows that nearly two thirds of groundwater in China's 118 largest cities is "severely polluted". Air pollution in Beijing is 40 times the World Health Organisation guideline.

    The central Government has pledged $622 billion over a decade to clean up the country's dwindling fresh water supplies. Environmental experts, including Ma Jun, director of the non-profit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, are unconvinced by such grandiose promises.

    They have said that although $89bn was spent in the past decade, much water remains undrinkable.

    Government research suggested that at 43 per cent of the locations that the Environment Ministry monitored in 2011, there was water too dangerous for human contact of any sort.

    (too polluted for fracking?)

    1. And most rivers flow to the sea.

      "China's booming economy has brought more water pollution, some of it shockingly serious. High-profile industrial accidents along major rivers have disrupted water supplies to big cities in recent years.

      Hu Siyi, vice minister of water resources, said last year that 20 percent of China's rivers were so polluted that their water quality was rated too toxic for human contact, and that up to 40 percent of the rivers were seriously polluted, according to state media.

      Last month, about nine tons of aniline, a chemical used to make polyurethane, leaked into a river in northern China. It took five days for the leak to be reported, and by then it had contaminated the water supply of a city in a neighboring province."


      The US is bracing for another drought.

      Matthew Staver for The New York Times Thin mountain snow in Colorado and across the West could signal another summer of drought and wildfire. DENVER - After enduring last summer's destructive drought, farmers, ranchers and officials across the country's parched heartland had hoped that plentiful winter snows would replenish the ground and refill their rivers, breaking the grip of one of the worst dry spells in American history. No such luck. Across the West, lakes are half full and mountain snows are thin, omens of another summer of drought and wildfire. Complicating matters, many of the worst-hit states have even less water on hand than a year ago, raising the specter of shortages and rationing that could inflict another year of losses on struggling farms.

      Reservoir levels have fallen sharply in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. The soil is drier than normal. And while a few recent snowstorms have cheered skiers, the snowpack is so thin in parts of Colorado that the government has declared an “extreme drought” around the ski havens of Vail and Aspen.

      “We’re worse off than we were a year ago,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

      This week’s blizzard brought a measure of relief to the Plains when it dumped more than a foot of snow. But it did not change the basic calculus for forecasters and officials in the drought-scarred West. Ranchers are straining to find hay — it is scarce and expensive — to feed cattle. And farmers are fretting about whether they will have enough water to irrigate their fields.

      “It’s approaching a critical situation,” said Mike Hungenberg, who grows carrots and cabbage on a 3,000-acre farm in Northern Colorado. There is so little water available this year, he said, that he may scale back his planting by a third, and sow less thirsty crops, like beans.

      “A year ago we went into the spring season with most of the reservoirs full,” Mr. Hungenberg said. “This year, you’re going in with basically everything empty.”

      In 2011, the Northern Colorado city of Greeley alone leased enough water to irrigate 13,000 acres of farmland — representing millions of dollars in wages for farmhands, seed money, fertilizer sales and profits for farmers. Every year, just after midnight on Jan. 1, farmers start calling the city to sign up to lease the surplus water. This year, Greeley had to call them all back to say there was none to be had.

      Eldon Ackerman, who grows sugar beets, pinto beans and alfalfa on his farm in Wellington, said he had water supplies for only about one-third of his fields. He was praying the spring snow and rains would come to save him. If they do not, he said he might have to let 1,000 acres lie fallow this year.

      “There isn’t any more water to get,” Mr. Ackerman said.

    2. Colorado may not have water for food,but there is plenty for fracking.

      WINDSOR, Colo., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- At least 84,000 gallons of water contaminated with hydraulic fracturing chemicals spilled from a broken well-head in northern Colorado, authorities say.

      A mechanical failure sent fracking fluid and oil into the surrounding soil for more than 30 hours, state natural resources spokesman Todd Hartman told The Denver Post.

      Firefighters were testing air every 30 minutes to ensure leaking natural gas was not about to explode while vacuum trucks were used to suck up the liquid, he said.


      GREELEY, Colo. — A new race for water is rippling through the drought-scorched heartland, pitting farmers against oil and gas interests, driven by new drilling techniques that use powerful streams of water, sand and chemicals to crack the ground and release stores of oil and gas.

      A single such well can require five million gallons of water, and energy companies are flocking to water auctions, farm ponds, irrigation ditches and municipal fire hydrants to get what they need.

      That thirst is helping to drive an explosion of oil production here, but it is also complicating the long and emotional struggle over who drinks and who does not in the arid and fast-growing West. Farmers and environmental activists say they are worried that deep-pocketed energy companies will have purchase on increasingly scarce water supplies as they drill deep new wells that use the technique of hydraulic fracturing.

      And this summer’s record-breaking drought, which dried up wells and ruined crops, has only amplified those concerns.

      In average years, farmers and ranchers like Mr. Anderson say they pay about $30 for an acre foot of water — equal to about 326,000 gallons — a price that can rise to $100 when water is scarce. Right now, oil and gas companies in parts of Colorado are paying as much as $1,000 to $2,000 for an equal amount of treated water from city pipes.

      That money can be a blessing for strained local utilities and water departments, but farmers say there is no way they can afford to match those bids.

      “We’re not going to be able to raise the food we need,” said Ben Rainbolt, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “How are we going to produce this with less?”

      In the spring, during an annual auction of surplus water in northern Colorado, Mr. Anderson and a handful of other farmers were outbid by water haulers who supply hydraulic fracturing wells. Although Mr. Anderson ultimately got the water he needed as bids settled after the auction, the mere shadow of energy producers at the auction offered a glimpse of their growing presence in the rush for Western water.

      “Energy companies are moving quickly to shore up supplies,” said Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University. “They’re going to find it, and they’re going to pay what they need to pay, and it’s on an order of magnitude of what crop producers can afford to pay. That changes the whole deal.”

      In June, the group released a study that accused Colorado of underestimating the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, saying the true figure was between 7.2 billion and 13 billion gallons per year — enough to serve as many as 296,100 people.

      Despite the drought and worries about water supplies, several cities — and even farmers with water to spare — are starting to line up as eager sellers.

      Still, the industry is growing fast. The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission estimates that the state’s oil and gas water needs will grow by 16 percent over the next three years.

      “Water flows uphill to money,” said Mike Chiropolos, a lawyer for Western Resource Advocates, an environmental group based in Boulder. “It’s only going to get more precious and more scarce.”