Category Archives: Fracking

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 , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama has been having quite a summer. In fact, some political pundits are calling 2015 the most successful year of his presidency — his nuclear-weapons deal with Iran, congressional approval of his Asian trade deal, seeing his health-care plan ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court and pushing a sweeping overhaul of the criminal-justice system. In the seventh year of his presidency, Obama seems to have a stronger sense of [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages 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 , , , , , ,

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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Posted in Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , ,

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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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Research Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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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Posted in Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,