Category Archives: Causes

When is the government ever going to get it right on regulating those mile-long oil trains that are criss-crossing America these days, thanks to the fracking boom? You know the ones — the trains that activists call “oil bombs” because so many of them have exploded in the last two years, causing mass fatalities in Quebec and scaring the bejesus out of citizens from North Dakota to Alabama and everywhere [...]

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

By this point, we’re all pretty familiar with the touchstones of the debate over fracking for oil and natural gas. During the early days of this unconventional drilling practice, the best argument in favor of fracking did have something going for it: Natural gas is a much cleaner burning power source than the fuels that it typically replaces, especially coal. Crude oil isn’t very clean, but at least there are [...]

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

Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that triggered an environmental calamity in the Gulf of Mexico. For many of us the region, it’s an anniversary tinged with vivid and painful memories. As I recount in my new book, Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Assault on America, we were in the skies over [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Response, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

It seemed like we’d run out of new environmental and public health problems caused by the fracking boom. Since folks started paying attention to the surge in unconventional gas drilling across the United States, we’ve seen neighbors lighting their tap water on fire with a match, tainted well water, leaks and spills into once-pristine streams, foul-smelling air pollution, increasing emissions of methane (a critical greenhouse gas), dumping of radioactive wastewater [...]

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

I’m not sure what the Apocalypse would look like and I sure as hell hope I never find out, but you have to think it would look a little like some of the pictures that I saw this past week coming out of West Virginia. A massive CSX train laden with crude-oil tank cars tried to plow its way through the latest winter storm to devastate the northeastern United States [...]

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

Remember a few weeks ago, when I wrote about earthquakes in Irving, Texas — a stone’s throw from the headquarters of the world’s largest energy company, ExxonMobil? I thought the irony was huge: Texas is just one corner of America where earthquakes had once been rare but are now commonplace — coinciding with the rise of fracking in those regions. Here’s the thing: The problem is now getting worse. This [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

One thing has become increasingly clear over the last decade: Earthquakes in America aren’t just for California anymore. Regions that were long considered seismically stable — especially in the prairie regions of the American Southwest, but also far-flung areas such as Ohio — have been rocked by a series of tremors. These new waves of earthquakes can cause structural damage to homes and rattle the nerves of the people who [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

If you want more evidence that the so-called “debate” — kicked off and ginned up by a BP public relations executive and aided and abetted by a compliant news media — over whether or not the oil giant’s 5-million-barrel 2010 spill destroyed the Gulf is a ridiculous argument, just check out the latest casualty figures. This weekend, there was an alarming new scientific report about the massive harm that BP’s [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Research, Spill Damages, Wildlife Tagged , , , , , , ,

This weekend, the New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy — and rather remarkable — look at what happened when a New Orleans levee board decided to take seriously its mission of restoring the Louisiana environment to its original health. If you’ve been reading this blog, the story of New Orleans historian John Barry, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (also known as Slfpa-E), and Big Oil’s effort to quash its [...]

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Posted in Causes, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Restoration Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Some days it seems like our politicians are living in a dream world. A couple of days ago, I told you about Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal and his craven approval of badly written legislation that will a) do the bidding of his Big Oil and Gas campaign donors and kill a lawsuit that would require 97 large companies to spend billions to restore the coastal wetlands they destroyed and b) was so poorly [...]

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Posted in Causes, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Recovery, Regulation, Response Tagged , , , , , , ,