Category Archives: Regulation

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 , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , ,

Recently, I’ve been highly focused on one story in particular: The Gulf of Mexico remains under extreme stress. Some of the problems go back a number of years — particularly the oxygen-deprived, so-called “dead zones in the Gulf that have grown to the size of the state of Connecticut and had a severe impact on our fisheries. This seemingly intractable crisis has defied calls for action, as farming and overdevelopment [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

Make no mistake — there’s a war on water in this country. One of the biggest culprits is the fracking industry, which continues to use billions of gallons of precious H2O to drill for oil across the drought-parched American West, even as lawns turn brown and some homeowners wonder when their taps will go dry. Then there’s the assault on rivers — the undetected spill from the aptly named Freedom Industries [...]

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Posted in Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Regulation, Research Tagged , , , , ,

It looks like public officials are finally wising up when it comes to the ill-advised plan to bring fracking to the environmentally sensitive lands of South Louisiana. As I’ve noted in this space previously, a locally based company called Helis Oil and Gas wants to launch the region’s first hydraulic fracturing site in St. Tammany Parish, just north of Lake Pontchartrain. Residents are up in arms over the plan, and they [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Main, Regulation, 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 , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , ,