Category Archives: Safety

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 , , , , , ,

If this blog could be said to have a theme this summer, it would be this: The Gulf of Mexico, under stress. The tragedy, of course, is how much of that stress has been caused by BP’s recklessness — the millions of barrels of oil that gushed forth from its destroyed Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 that continues to pollute white sandy beaches with tar balls (many of them larded [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Safety, Wildlife 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 , , , , , ,

Earlier this week, I presented the first part of some research showing that more than four years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe — at a moment in which BP is mounting a furious and at times a bit ridiculous PR campaign to show that everything is back to normal — in fact the Gulf of Mexico is still very, very sick. I noted the non-stop assault on our beaches of tar [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Research, Safety 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 big oil companies love to portray the rise of fracking as a great American success story — using 21st Century technology and know-how to locate and extract pockets of cheap energy that were thought to be unreachable, reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and lowering your energy cost. But Big Oil doesn’t want you to know the sausage-making, as it were, that goes into pulling those resources out of [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Radiation, Research, Safety 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 , , , , , , , ,

When I started practicing environmental law out of New Orleans in the late 1980s, the Deep South was still scarred by the last big oil rush. The Arab oil embargo and spike in prices during the 1970s had sparked a big boom in the Gulf Coast oil patch, but a decade later the price had plummeted and many of the wells were sealed off. What the oil giants left behind [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Main, Radiation, Regulation, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

There are reports that the federal government is thinking about allowing the export of American oil again. The U.S. used to be a large oil exporter, decades ago, but that stopped in 1973 as crude production on domestic soil reached a peak and an Arab oil embargo threatened our economy. But then came fracking, which has been a game changer for producing oil and natural gas, from Pennsylvania to North [...]

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