Category Archives: Politics

It’s hard to believe, but today marks the 4th anniversary of the day that BP and the federal government announced that the massive leak from the Deepwater Horizon rig catastrophe had finally been capped. There was relief at the end of the Gulf’s most hellish summer, and optimism that a corner had finally been turned. But if it’s an anniversary that gets little recognition, there’s a good reason for that. [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , , ,

Remember the people who brought you the Louisiana sinkhole, the Texas Brine Co? These are the folks whose drilling activities in a salt cavern underneath a small isolated community about 70 miles west of New Orleans caused problems that were overlooked by state regulators in Baton Rouge and ultimately led to a collapse and a massive water hole near the center of the town. That hole grew to the size [...]

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Posted in Louisiana Sinkhole, Main, Politics, Regulation, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

They held a Democratic primary election in New York State this Tuesday, and an upstart candidate for governor with the unlikely name of Zephyr Teachout — who was outspent about 50-to-1 by the incumbent Andrew Cuomo — did surprisingly well given the obstacles. She got about 34 percent of the vote overall, but she actually defeated the powerful, well-known Cuomo in about 20 counties in the central part of the [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Talk about a contrast: This weekend, I told you about a speech in New Orleans before America’s top environment journalists that was delivered by Geoff Morrell, the former Pentagon flack turned public relations “expert” for BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon fiasco. I mentioned that Morrell stunned the reporters in the audience by blaming the aura of bad publicity surrounding the British oil giant on them, and not [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A lot of folks in Louisiana are talking today — the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall — about a major investigation by the New Orleans-based website, The Lens, and the award-winning investigative-reporting outfit, ProPublica, looking at the dramatic loss of wetlands in my native state. Perhaps the most jaw-dropping element of the project is an interactive map that chronicles exactly how much wetland has become open sea since 1922. [...]

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Posted in Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Restoration Tagged , , , , , , , ,

One point that I’ve strived to make about fracking from Day One is quite simply this: There was a rush without judgment — a race by Big Oil and Gas to get as many holes in the ground before the public, and the officials they elect, had any sense at all of the real impact. In Pennsylvania, for example, at the epicenter of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, landmen raced [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The fracking health scandal in the state of Pennsylvania just keeps getting worse. It was just last month that I told you that former mid-level workers in the Pennsylvania state Health Department had admitted to a reporter that they started getting unusual directives on fracking not long after the state’s pro-Big-Oil Republican governor, Tom Corbett, took office in 2011. They received a list of fracking “buzzwords” which meant that instead [...]

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

There are reports that the federal government is thinking about allowing the export of American oil again. The U.S. used to be a large oil exporter, decades ago, but that stopped in 1973 as crude production on domestic soil reached a peak and an Arab oil embargo threatened our economy. But then came fracking, which has been a game changer for producing oil and natural gas, from Pennsylvania to North [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Over the last few months, I’ve watched in amazement as BP has spent untold millions of dollars on lawyers, on expensive full-page advertisements in America’s leading newspapers, and on other media all with one goal in mind: Overturning a multi-billion-dollar oil spill settlement crafted and vociferously advocated for by its own attorneys! We’ve discussed this before: BP insists that crafty Louisiana lawyers are taking advantage of the settlement — which, [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Politics, Spill Damages, Victim Claims Tagged , , , , , ,

In January 2011, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett took office in Pennsylvania, heavily indebted to the fracking industry (in fact, he’d received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests, and those numbers have continued to grow). Since then, he has run one of the most pro-fracking governments in America. He has blocked efforts for a severance tax — every other gas-producing state has one, even ultra-conservative [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,