Category Archives: Safety

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

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 , , , , ,

At this stage, some 54 months after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, BP must been thinking that this would all go away. Surely, in their posh boardroom somewhere in the glass skyscrapers over London, overpaid executives imagined that by 2014 the beaches that BP wrecked with its crude oil would be free of tar balls, that the damaged marshes would spring back to life, and that visitors to the Gulf would again [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Claims, Illnesses, Legal, Main, 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 , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , ,

If you follow environmental issues, you know and understand this basic fact of American life: Poor communities — especially those populated by people of color — are much, much more likely to get dumped on than places where affluent folks live. If you show me a lead smelter, a trash incinerator or a hazardous-waste dump, there’s an excellent chance that the people living on the surrounding streets will be low-income [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Restoration, Safety 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 , , , , , ,