Category Archives: Fracking

There has been a wave of scientific research lately on fracking and its environmental risks. Some of that work has emerged from the governmental agencies that regulate unconventional drilling for oil and gas, including the recent, highly publicized report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the effects of fracking on drinking-water safety. The problem, of course, with government regulatory agencies is that they’re prone to political pressure — from [...]

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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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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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My recent book — Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America — is mostly a chronicle of what I’ve learned during a quarter century of taking on the oil giants and their environmental abuse of communities and workers across the American South. In the end, I note that — while it’s been a fulfilling career for [...]

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One of the biggest questions that’s hovered out there since the fracking boom first entered the public’s consciousness about five years ago is this: Is unconventional oil-and-gas drilling safe for the water supply. The industry’s position is that fracking can’t affect people’s drinking water because the extraction process takes place too far below that groundwater level to have an impact. But that’s been contradicted by scores of complaints from actual [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , ,

The fight over fracking has entered a new and alarming phase. After the initial shock of the boom in unconventional gas drilling, citizens in environmentally ravaged communities have been fighting back and claiming victories. But Big Oil and their colluders — the big money politicians — don’t put up with this sort of thing for very long. I learned this a generation ago, after I and other lawyers started winning [...]

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Here we go again. It was a large oil spill in the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara in 1969 — and the pictures of oiled birds and marine wildlife — that shocked the nation, led to bans and restrictions on offshore oil drilling in California and elsewhere, and created the momentum for the very first Earth Day celebration and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, both in 1970. [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Canadian province of Alberta is a pretty conservative place, or at least it used to be. Political analysts who follow developments there say it’s been comparable in the recent past to America’s so-called “red states” — somewhat similar to Idaho, with which it shares a border. But now — in the wake of an election that was held on Tuesday — the conservative party that’s held sway for more [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Main, Politics, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

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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