Category Archives: Regulation

My first big environmental battle was against Chevron. It happened more than two decades ago inside a federal courtroom in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I was representing a machine-shop owner and his employees who’d been poisoned by the radioactive residue inside the pipes they were cleaning for Chevron and other Big Oil clients. Chevron had all the money and resources on its side, but it didn’t have the one thing it needed [...]

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

It’s hard to imagine how the news about fracking could get any worse. On any given day, my news feed is filled with reports from all across America, and sometimes from outside our borders, about the unintended environmental consequences of this extreme method of extracting natural gas from the shale formations under the earth. Just today, there was yet another report of an earthquake in Oklahoma — where seismic activity [...]

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Fracking has caused a lot of Americans to focus on the alarming environmental practices of the U.S. oil and gas industry, and that’s perfectly understandable. For one thing, the term “fracking” is still new and  scary sounding to some, and perhaps funny sounding to others. Perhaps more importantly, the boom in unconventional gas drilling has come to a lot of parts of the country, such as Pennsylvania and (potentially) parts of [...]

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

I’ve written a lot lately about the growing movement for environmental justice in my home state of Louisiana — about Gen. Russel Honore and his “Green Army” and how everyday citizens of the state, from Mandeville to Bayou Corne, are saying no to Big Oil and Gas running roughshod over their drinking water and the natural splendor of Bayou Country. It’s more noteworthy because Louisiana is, for the most part, [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Wildlife Tagged , , , , , , ,

This week, climate change has spent an all-too-brief moment on top of the public’s agenda, as world leaders and diplomats discussed the simmering issue at the United Nations and look for some kind of breakthrough that will lead to meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Many cynics say that serious action is impossible, because even if the United States — the world leader in per-person emissions of carbon — takes [...]

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

One of the major themes I’ve been writing about frequently in the last year is the rising environmental movement in Louisiana. To be clear, my home state already boasted some fierce fighters for environmental justice, like Marylee Orr and her Louisiana Environmental Action Network, or the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, doing battle with dirty chemical plants. But the shock of recent events such as the BP oil spill and the Bayou [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Legal, Louisiana Sinkhole, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , ,

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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