Category Archives: Research

Do you think that you had a bad year in 2015? I can almost guarantee that economically, it wasn’t as bad as it was for BP, the British oil giant behind the worst oil spill in American history. This week, BP officially it announced its earnings for the quarter and for the year — but the term “earnings” is something of a misnomer. Indeed, the Big Oil icon lost a [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

You didn’t have to live in the Northeastern United States to be in thrall of the big blizzard this weekend. The massive coastal storm brought near-record snowfall totals to New York City and Philadelphia, caused coastal flooding on a scale not seen since Superstorm Sandy more than three years ago, and wreaked havoc on air, train, and car travel up and down the eastern half of the United States. Blizzards [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Main, Politics, Research, Response Tagged , , , , ,

The story broke last year, and it quickly became the environmental scandal of the decade: Evidence that the world’s largest oil company knew for decades that climate change — driven largely by fossil-fuel pollution — would cause catastrophic damage to Planet Earth if left unchecked. It seemed almost too cynical to believe that Exxon Corp., the massive forerunner to today’s ExxonMobil, would chose a dishonest policy of lying about its [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

More than four-and-a-half years later, the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan continues to send out the warning signs of just how bad the 2011 meltdown at the site truly has been. After all this time — not to mention all this distance — scientists continue to find radiation from the Japanese plant, which was devastated first by a major earthquake and then the subsequent tsunami, assaulting the Pacific [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Radiation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

In 2010, I was part of an alliance of environmentalists and others who pleaded with the federal government to work with BP in ending the widespread use of the toxic chemical called Corexit. This dangerous substance was being sprayed, in large quantities, to make the crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe disappear. It seemed clear from Day One that simply spraying another poisonous chemical on top of the more [...]

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

For years, the debate over climate change happened largely at an academic level that wasn’t always easy for the general public to understand. While scientists studied global temperature data and closely tracked the level of carbon pollution in the atmosphere, the impact on the ground seemed a little less clear. For every unseasonably warm winter here in parts of the United States, there were also record-setting blizzards, and warnings that [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Think about 1977. If you’re even old enough to remember, that was a long, long time ago. It was 38 years ago, to be exact. I was a teenager working toward my GED in New Orleans — law school and my career as an environmental attorney was still ahead of me. The city’s NBA basketball team was still the Jazz, not the Pelicans. Jimmy Carter had just been elected president [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

Posting negative headlines about fracking has become pretty much a regular weekly occurrence around here. A lot of that is the result of science; it’s taken researchers a number of years to catch up with the newer technologies in oil and gas drilling. As they do, impartial academics are learning that the pollution problems that come with fracking have been understated, while the benefits have been overhyped. That’s important, because [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

I’ve long predicted that California will be the place where the rubber hits the road for the fracking boom in America. The rewards in a resource-rich state are too great for Big Oil and Gas to ignore, but the risks — of wasting millions upon millions of gallons of water in a drought-stricken state, of causing earthquakes in a region criss-crossed by fault lines, of polluting the already smoggy air [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , ,