Category Archives: Fracking

President Obama landed in Alaska last night to begin a 3-day trip though the 49th state, his first extensive visit there since entering the White House. The trip is fascinating, important, very historic — and highly hypocritical. Most of the visit is dedicated to highlighting the problem of climate change, and what better backdrop than Alaska, where glaciers are melting amid record high temperatures, while sea ice melts in the [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Response, 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , ,