Category Archives: Causes

It’s beginning to look like 2015 will be a banner year for political activism around efforts to block the growth of fossil fuels — both here in the United States and around the world. Indeed, this year we’ve even seen the invention of a new word — “kayaktivists” — to describe the protesters in Seattle who bravely tried to block the movement northward of Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, by paddling [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , , ,

For a long time, I’ve been writing about Louisiana’s so-called “Cancer Alley,” the seemingly endless line of oil refineries and chemical plants which — exploiting the state’s rich natural resources — line the Mississippi River banks from Baton Rouge all the way past New Orleans, towards the Gulf of Mexico. For decades, locals tended to view these unsightly industrial beacons, tangles of steel pipe and belching smokestacks that light the [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

There has been a terrible — and completely unexpected — environmental catastrophe in Colorado. Work crews for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, undertaking a long-delayed project to deal with the hazard of wastewater from abandoned mines in and around the city of Durango, saw the accidental collapse of a barrier and a torrent of highly polluted water flowing into local rivers. The toxic waters from inside the Gold King Mine [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Radiation, Regulation, Restoration, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

Posting negative headlines about fracking has become pretty much a regular weekly occurrence around here. A lot of that is the result of science; it’s taken researchers a number of years to catch up with the newer technologies in oil and gas drilling. As they do, impartial academics are learning that the pollution problems that come with fracking have been understated, while the benefits have been overhyped. That’s important, because [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The last decade — ever since it became clear in the mid-2000s that conventional oil fields around the planet were running low — has been the era of “extreme oil.” Big Oil promised the world that the wonder of new technologies — most notably hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as well as other advances in drilling capabilities — would make it possible to tap rich oil fields that were once unattainable. [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve long predicted that California will be the place where the rubber hits the road for the fracking boom in America. The rewards in a resource-rich state are too great for Big Oil and Gas to ignore, but the risks — of wasting millions upon millions of gallons of water in a drought-stricken state, of causing earthquakes in a region criss-crossed by fault lines, of polluting the already smoggy air [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , , , ,

It didn’t get much attention in the American news media, but there was an important anniversary this week. It’s been two years now since the explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where a series of negligent acts led to a runway crude-oil train that hit the center of town on a busy Friday night, killing an astonishing 47 people, many of them inside a packed discotheque. Not surprisingly, such a horrific accident raised [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

Everybody needs to vent sometimes, right? That’s certainly true for someone like me, a veteran environmental attorney who’s had more than my share of frustrations in dealing with Big Oil, their high-priced lawyers, and the politicians who receive huge wads of campaign cash. It helps to have a blog to get things off my chest. But I’ll tell you one thing that doesn’t need to vent! Fracking rigs. There’s yet [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

In my last blog post, I discussed how Pope Francis’ call for worldwide action on global warming is a game-changer. It’s also worth noting the remarkable depth of his encyclical on the environment that was published last week. In addition to confirming the consensus among the world’s leading scientists on climate change, Francis also covered a wide range of interlocking issues that affect the environment. In particular, he wrote at length [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The wetlands in Louisiana just can’t catch a break. Between 1932 and 2010, the state lost these critical marshes and swamps equal to the size of the state of Delaware, and that rate is accelerating. One of the best hopes for restoring these vanished wetlands — a lawsuit filed by the levee board in New Orleans seeking 97 big oil and gas companies to pay for a century worth of damage caused [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,