Category Archives: Safety

The last decade — ever since it became clear in the mid-2000s that conventional oil fields around the planet were running low — has been the era of “extreme oil.” Big Oil promised the world that the wonder of new technologies — most notably hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as well as other advances in drilling capabilities — would make it possible to tap rich oil fields that were once unattainable. [...]

Read More »
Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama has been having quite a summer. In fact, some political pundits are calling 2015 the most successful year of his presidency — his nuclear-weapons deal with Iran, congressional approval of his Asian trade deal, seeing his health-care plan ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court and pushing a sweeping overhaul of the criminal-justice system. In the seventh year of his presidency, Obama seems to have a stronger sense of [...]

Read More »
Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages 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 [...]

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

It didn’t get much attention in the American news media, but there was an important anniversary this week. It’s been two years now since the explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where a series of negligent acts led to a runway crude-oil train that hit the center of town on a busy Friday night, killing an astonishing 47 people, many of them inside a packed discotheque. Not surprisingly, such a horrific accident raised [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety 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 [...]

Read More »
Posted in Fracking, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of excitement about the U.S. Supreme Court as it wrapped up its 2014-15 session, and understandably so. On Friday, many people took to the streets in celebration when the High Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. In fact, that ruling was held up as a sign that the nine justices were, as a whole, becoming more liberal — building upon two [...]

Read More »
Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Everybody needs to vent sometimes, right? That’s certainly true for someone like me, a veteran environmental attorney who’s had more than my share of frustrations in dealing with Big Oil, their high-priced lawyers, and the politicians who receive huge wads of campaign cash. It helps to have a blog to get things off my chest. But I’ll tell you one thing that doesn’t need to vent! Fracking rigs. There’s yet [...]

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

In my last blog post, I discussed how Pope Francis’ call for worldwide action on global warming is a game-changer. It’s also worth noting the remarkable depth of his encyclical on the environment that was published last week. In addition to confirming the consensus among the world’s leading scientists on climate change, Francis also covered a wide range of interlocking issues that affect the environment. In particular, he wrote at length [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

So far, 2015 has been a mostly gloomy year in the arena of fighting back against fossil fuel. Neither the plunging prices for oil and gas nor the growing realization — even embraced this week in the corridors of the Vatican — that greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of entire planet have made much of a dent in our mad rush to drill deep under the sea, in [...]

Read More »
Posted in Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

The wetlands in Louisiana just can’t catch a break. Between 1932 and 2010, the state lost these critical marshes and swamps equal to the size of the state of Delaware, and that rate is accelerating. One of the best hopes for restoring these vanished wetlands — a lawsuit filed by the levee board in New Orleans seeking 97 big oil and gas companies to pay for a century worth of damage caused [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Fracking, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,