Category Archives: Safety

Here we go again. It was a large oil spill in the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara in 1969 — and the pictures of oiled birds and marine wildlife — that shocked the nation, led to bans and restrictions on offshore oil drilling in California and elsewhere, and created the momentum for the very first Earth Day celebration and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, both in 1970. [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Everyone knows that drilling offshore for oil in the unforgiving waters of the Arctic is a fool’s errand. Three summers ago, Shell’s initial foray into this extreme quest for crude oil was an unmitigated disaster, ending with the bizarre yet tragically predictable saga of its oil rig the Kulluk breaking loose and slamming into the rocky coastline of Alaska. Now, Shell has been making plans to try drilling in the [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

There are a few places that have really come to symbolize the folly that has been nuclear power in America in the decades since World War II. One of the more famous ones is the San Onofre plant in Southern California, built next to the Pacific Ocean and perilously close to a major fault line, in one of the nation’s more populated corners. What could go wrong? But then, poorly [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Oil Spill Facts, Radiation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Canadian province of Alberta is a pretty conservative place, or at least it used to be. Political analysts who follow developments there say it’s been comparable in the recent past to America’s so-called “red states” — somewhat similar to Idaho, with which it shares a border. But now — in the wake of an election that was held on Tuesday — the conservative party that’s held sway for more [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Main, Politics, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

When is the government ever going to get it right on regulating those mile-long oil trains that are criss-crossing America these days, thanks to the fracking boom? You know the ones — the trains that activists call “oil bombs” because so many of them have exploded in the last two years, causing mass fatalities in Quebec and scaring the bejesus out of citizens from North Dakota to Alabama and everywhere [...]

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

By this point, we’re all pretty familiar with the touchstones of the debate over fracking for oil and natural gas. During the early days of this unconventional drilling practice, the best argument in favor of fracking did have something going for it: Natural gas is a much cleaner burning power source than the fuels that it typically replaces, especially coal. Crude oil isn’t very clean, but at least there are [...]

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

Today, on the actual 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, I published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, voicing my dismay not only at the current state of the Gulf of Mexico but over the complete failure to take the necessary steps to make sure this never happens again. Here’s an excerpt: The Obama administration, for its part, has been a lot more aggressive about awarding new leases [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that triggered an environmental calamity in the Gulf of Mexico. For many of us the region, it’s an anniversary tinged with vivid and painful memories. As I recount in my new book, Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Assault on America, we were in the skies over [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Response, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

The 2010 BP oil spill has had many unintended consequences. Here’s another one: It tends to suck a lot of the oxygen from other serious environmental issues facing the Gulf of Mexico — especially now with a flood of publicity on the 5th anniversary of the catastrophe. But even before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010, this precious natural resource on America’s southern edge was losing thousands [...]

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

It seemed like we’d run out of new environmental and public health problems caused by the fracking boom. Since folks started paying attention to the surge in unconventional gas drilling across the United States, we’ve seen neighbors lighting their tap water on fire with a match, tainted well water, leaks and spills into once-pristine streams, foul-smelling air pollution, increasing emissions of methane (a critical greenhouse gas), dumping of radioactive wastewater [...]

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