Category Archives: Fracking

The process of fracking is a relatively new one. In fact, sometimes I think we forget just how new it is. It was just mid-2000s that word spread among industry officials about a new technology to affordably free up oil and natural gas trapped in tiny pockets within shale formations — and Congress and the Bush administration enacted favorable energy legislation. In those early years, fracking was confined to a [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Human Interest, Illnesses, Main, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

In the field of environmental science, it’s always important to evaluate risk. In other words, do we tolerate a certain level of risk if the alternative is a wider ecological catastrophe? Over the last decade or two, for example, scientists have debated whether nuclear power plants — despite the danger of a major accident and release of radiation, as happened in Japan in 2011 — are still a better option [...]

Read More »
Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Research Tagged , , , , , , ,

It’s hard to imagine how the news about fracking could get any worse. On any given day, my news feed is filled with reports from all across America, and sometimes from outside our borders, about the unintended environmental consequences of this extreme method of extracting natural gas from the shale formations under the earth. Just today, there was yet another report of an earthquake in Oklahoma — where seismic activity [...]

Read More »
Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Fracking has caused a lot of Americans to focus on the alarming environmental practices of the U.S. oil and gas industry, and that’s perfectly understandable. For one thing, the term “fracking” is still new and  scary sounding to some, and perhaps funny sounding to others. Perhaps more importantly, the boom in unconventional gas drilling has come to a lot of parts of the country, such as Pennsylvania and (potentially) parts of [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

I’ve written a lot lately about the growing movement for environmental justice in my home state of Louisiana — about Gen. Russel Honore and his “Green Army” and how everyday citizens of the state, from Mandeville to Bayou Corne, are saying no to Big Oil and Gas running roughshod over their drinking water and the natural splendor of Bayou Country. It’s more noteworthy because Louisiana is, for the most part, [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Wildlife Tagged , , , , , , ,

This week, climate change has spent an all-too-brief moment on top of the public’s agenda, as world leaders and diplomats discussed the simmering issue at the United Nations and look for some kind of breakthrough that will lead to meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Many cynics say that serious action is impossible, because even if the United States — the world leader in per-person emissions of carbon — takes [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

One of the major themes I’ve been writing about frequently in the last year is the rising environmental movement in Louisiana. To be clear, my home state already boasted some fierce fighters for environmental justice, like Marylee Orr and her Louisiana Environmental Action Network, or the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, doing battle with dirty chemical plants. But the shock of recent events such as the BP oil spill and the Bayou [...]

Read More »
Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Legal, Louisiana Sinkhole, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , ,

They held a Democratic primary election in New York State this Tuesday, and an upstart candidate for governor with the unlikely name of Zephyr Teachout — who was outspent about 50-to-1 by the incumbent Andrew Cuomo — did surprisingly well given the obstacles. She got about 34 percent of the vote overall, but she actually defeated the powerful, well-known Cuomo in about 20 counties in the central part of the [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Talk about a contrast: This weekend, I told you about a speech in New Orleans before America’s top environment journalists that was delivered by Geoff Morrell, the former Pentagon flack turned public relations “expert” for BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon fiasco. I mentioned that Morrell stunned the reporters in the audience by blaming the aura of bad publicity surrounding the British oil giant on them, and not [...]

Read More »
Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , , , ,

One point that I’ve strived to make about fracking from Day One is quite simply this: There was a rush without judgment — a race by Big Oil and Gas to get as many holes in the ground before the public, and the officials they elect, had any sense at all of the real impact. In Pennsylvania, for example, at the epicenter of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, landmen raced [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,