Category Archives: Regulation

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 , , , , ,

If there’s been one common theme in both my life’s work as an environmental lawyer and my writing here on this blog, it is that mankind’s ever-growing thirst for fossil fuels has many unintended consequences — and too often these consequences are not good. Over the years, I’ve seen first-hand how drilling and production of oil and natural gas fields across the Deep South has, yes, provided fuel to run our [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Important Articles, Louisiana Sinkhole, Main, Regulation, Research, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

So the original take on fracking for natural gas was that it was good for the environment, for one simple reason — natural gas is a cleaner fuel than what it normally replaces, particularly coal which is rich in carbon emissions. In other words, they told us that more fracking meant fewer greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Even with a flood of disturbing reports that fracking was polluting [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , ,

When I started practicing environmental law out of New Orleans in the late 1980s, the Deep South was still scarred by the last big oil rush. The Arab oil embargo and spike in prices during the 1970s had sparked a big boom in the Gulf Coast oil patch, but a decade later the price had plummeted and many of the wells were sealed off. What the oil giants left behind [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Main, Radiation, Regulation, Restoration, Safety 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 , , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , ,

Some days it seems like our politicians are living in a dream world. A couple of days ago, I told you about Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal and his craven approval of badly written legislation that will a) do the bidding of his Big Oil and Gas campaign donors and kill a lawsuit that would require 97 large companies to spend billions to restore the coastal wetlands they destroyed and b) was so poorly [...]

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Posted in Causes, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Recovery, Regulation, Response Tagged , , , , , , ,

Another catastrophe similar to BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and spewed 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, could very well happen because of a major flaw in offshore oil-rig technology that federal regulators are just learning about now, four years after the disaster. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board revealed yesterday in a new, major report that the type of blowout preventer [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

Elections have consequences. Take North Carolina, a state that has always seemed of two minds, politically. For the most part, the Tarheel State mirrors its Southern neighbors — heavily rural, conservative, and clinging to its traditions. But there is also a progressive bent in North Carolina, especially as more and more outsiders move to the state for its top-flight universities and for its high-tech, R&D jobs. That’s meant a string [...]

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

Earlier this year, I told you that Southern California could be where the proverbial rubber hits the road for Big Oil and its decade-long adventure with fracking. Although the geology underneath Southern California is rich with natural resources including fossil fuels, the region also has special issues that make it a terrible candidate for the fracking process. One is that the drilling process requires literally billions of gallons of water [...]

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