Category Archives: Important Articles

It’s beginning to look like 2015 will be a banner year for political activism around efforts to block the growth of fossil fuels — both here in the United States and around the world. Indeed, this year we’ve even seen the invention of a new word — “kayaktivists” — to describe the protesters in Seattle who bravely tried to block the movement northward of Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, by paddling [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , , ,

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Consider the sensitive issue of offshore drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Five years ago, when the Deepwater Horizon disaster wreaked its havoc on the region, killing 11 workers and ultimately spewing between 4 and 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf, some folks actually wondered if that was the end of offshore oil production. After all, the environmental [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

For a long time, I’ve been writing about Louisiana’s so-called “Cancer Alley,” the seemingly endless line of oil refineries and chemical plants which — exploiting the state’s rich natural resources — line the Mississippi River banks from Baton Rouge all the way past New Orleans, towards the Gulf of Mexico. For decades, locals tended to view these unsightly industrial beacons, tangles of steel pipe and belching smokestacks that light the [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, 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 , , , , , , ,

There hasn’t been as much talk lately about the Keystone XL project, the massive proposed pipeline that would take some of the dirtiest fuel known to mankind — extracted from the tar sands of western Canada — and ship it across the American heartland to the Gulf Coast, where most it will be shipped to overseas markets. My hunch is that the Obama administration — which feels caught between a [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Response, Safety, Spill Damages, Wildlife 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 , , , , , ,

Here we go on the political see-saw with President Obama. Just last week, it was a sharp move down, as the White House continued to knuckle under to Big Oil interests on the critical issue of offshore drilling as it signed off on the risky practice of offshore drilling in the Arctic while continuing to promote new oil exploration in the Atlantic and elsewhere. The administration’s pro-drilling moves are deeply [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Response, 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 , , , , , , ,