Category Archives: Politics

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 , , , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of excitement about the U.S. Supreme Court as it wrapped up its 2014-15 session, and understandably so. On Friday, many people took to the streets in celebration when the High Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. In fact, that ruling was held up as a sign that the nine justices were, as a whole, becoming more liberal — building upon two [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

You might have missed it — there are, in all seriousness, close to 20 announced or expected Republican candidates for president in 2016 — but the outgoing governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, threw his hat into the ring earlier today. The Ivy League technocrat who once promised to reform government in a state with a rich history of corruption is a dim memory after seven years in Baton Rouge; this [...]

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

One of the most frustrating things about the debate over fossil fuels and climate change is that news items that once might have been perceived as catastrophic are now viewed as ho-hum. I’m sure to some people, the constant news reports about the world breaking temperature records for particular months or for entire years, or headlines about the melting of polar ice caps or heat waves over Antarctica, begin to [...]

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

So far, 2015 has been a mostly gloomy year in the arena of fighting back against fossil fuel. Neither the plunging prices for oil and gas nor the growing realization — even embraced this week in the corridors of the Vatican — that greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of entire planet have made much of a dent in our mad rush to drill deep under the sea, in [...]

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Posted in Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, has an article on the Huffington Post this week that seems to ask the important environmental question of the moment: What, exactly, does President Obama and his administration think it’s doing when it comes to fossil fuels? (He also wonders, interestingly, if the president is cursed when it comes to oil and gas, since every time his administration moves to expand [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Response, 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 , , , , , ,

I’m very grateful to writer Mark Hand and the popular website CounterPunch for reviewing Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America. I thought Mark’s piece really captured the essence of the book. Here’s an excerpt: Early in his career, Smith said he learned that big oil and gas companies operated in a system that valued profits [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Here we go again. It was a large oil spill in the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara in 1969 — and the pictures of oiled birds and marine wildlife — that shocked the nation, led to bans and restrictions on offshore oil drilling in California and elsewhere, and created the momentum for the very first Earth Day celebration and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, both in 1970. [...]

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

Everyone knows that drilling offshore for oil in the unforgiving waters of the Arctic is a fool’s errand. Three summers ago, Shell’s initial foray into this extreme quest for crude oil was an unmitigated disaster, ending with the bizarre yet tragically predictable saga of its oil rig the Kulluk breaking loose and slamming into the rocky coastline of Alaska. Now, Shell has been making plans to try drilling in the [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,