Category Archives: Politics

It was seven years ago yesterday that BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and triggering an environmental catastrophe that in many ways has continued to this day. It is a moment I will never forget: I was in a small plane flying over the Gulf that next morning, watching the thick black plume of smoke with a mixture of shock and alarm. That soon [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Recovery, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The main topic on this blog in the last few years has been the danger posed by society’s addiction to fossil fuels — an addiction we continue to feed with more and more offshore drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere, with fracking that pollutes our environment and causes earthquakes, and with pipelines that leak and taint our sources of pure drinking water. But in politics they have a saying, that [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Restoring wetlands is certainly an expensive proposition. Even with monies available from sources such as the massive settlement that BP reached with Louisiana, the federal government and other Gulf states over the Deepwater Horizon spill, officials struggle to come up with all the funds needed to replenish coastline and bring back to life marshes and bayous that have been destroyed by energy exploration or damaged by pollution or other activities. [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Research, Restoration Tagged , , , , ,

Despite the growing evidence about problems from tainted wells to earthquakes, it’s taken a while for opposition to fracking to build, especially among our elected officials. Back in the mid-2000s when the boom in unconventional drilling for natural gas and oil was just taking off, many governors and other politicians were sold on the promise of new jobs and that natural gas would be a cleaner burning fuel than coal [...]

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

Late last year, I told you about the dire situation in the small, mostly black and underprivileged Louisiana community of St. Joseph. For years, residents had complained about the brackish and discolored water that flowed from their tap. But a largely unresponsive City Hall ignored those complaints, as did mostly unaware state and federal regulators. When the city water was finally tested in 2016, officials found shockingly high levels of [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

It wasn’t that long ago when the issue of water pollution in West Virginia was front-page national news. You may remember the incident that happened just over three years ago, in January 2014, involving a company called Freedom Industries. To paraphrase the old Janice Joplin song, “freedom” was just another word, in this case, for corporate neglect. A holding tank filled with crude¬†4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, a highly toxic chemical used to wash [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , ,

One issue that’s come up repeatedly since I launched this website seven years ago has been the multiple failings of Louisiana’s state environmental regulators, especially when it comes to reining in the state’s powerful oil and natural gas interests. For decades, under both Republican and Democratic governors, the regulatory agencies in Baton Rouge haven’t been up to snuff. Sometimes the problem appeared to be a lack of interest in aggressively [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

Things are stirring again with the Dakota Access pipeline. It was late last year, near the end of his term, when then-President Barack Obama handed a victory to activists seeking to block the opening of the $3.8 billion project. This is the pipeline which aims to ship fracked oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota across the U.S. Heartland to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast — and [...]

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

Pipelines were the big national news story today. In Washington, President Trump — fulfilling his campaign promises on the fourth full day of his administration — signed two executive orders intended to re-start two major, stalled projects: The Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline. Both projects had been stopped during the presidency of Barack Obama, and with good reason. Environmentalists had complained that the two projects both crossed [...]

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

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the effort to restore the massive amount of coastal wetlands — some 1,800 square miles, or one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island — that Louisiana has lost over the last 85 years, roughly around the same time period that Big Oil has been doing its business in the state. Aside from the loss of so much biodiversity in a [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Restoration Tagged , , , , , ,