Tagnatural gas

How fracking ruins your health

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In the roughly six years I’ve been writing in this spot, one constant has been this” News of what the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas does to the health of the planet, and the people who live here, just keep getting worse and worse. In the beginning, public officials insisted the process was 100 percent safe and could not possibly pollute public water...

The Deepwater Horizon of the sky

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They swore it would never happen again. For 87 days, the oil from the damaged Deepwater Horizon rig spewed into the environmentally sensitive Gulf of Mexico — and neither BP nor the federal government seemed to have any power to shut it off. There were times in the spring and summer of 2010 when it seemed like the damage to waters off Louisiana and to the coastline would never stop. When...

Another count in the indictment against fracking: It doesn’t stop climate change

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In the field of environmental science, it’s always important to evaluate risk. In other words, do we tolerate a certain level of risk if the alternative is a wider ecological catastrophe? Over the last decade or two, for example, scientists have debated whether nuclear power plants — despite the danger of a major accident and release of radiation, as happened in Japan in 2011 —...

Is fracking our countryside a good way to make American foreign policy?

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There are many, many arguments to be made against the process of hydraulic fracturing. Fracking is usurping billions of gallons of water in a time of drought, its main disposal method for wastewater has been linked to earthquakes, its rigs spew toxic air pollution as well as methane, which contributes greatly to global warming. That’s in addition to polluting local wells and the occasional...

Natural gas rig suffers major blowout, then explodes, in the Gulf (with photos)

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The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 did little to slow the growth of oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, even as more bad news continues to come out about how that spill and the botched use of dispersant hammered the coastal environment. Nor were safety measures greatly enhanced — so it’s not surprising to see new, alarming reports of spills and mishaps. Today, a...

More proof that fracking is more dangerous than they want you to think

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We’re now roughly five years into the surge on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas that has been trapped under shale formations, deep below the earth. The sharp rise in this fairly new type of drilling has overwhelmed states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, formerly coal states where intensive drilling for fossil fuels hadn’t taken place for generations. One important...

Democracy in action: American voters said ‘no’ to fracking this week

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All in all, it was a great night for progressives and a better-than-usual moment for the environment in the 2012 election. Mitt Romney in the Oval Office would have been disastrous, perhaps surpassing even George W. Bush as a pawn of Big Oil, Big Gas, and Big Coal. President Obama’s victory makes it essential that we keep the pressure on so that Washington gets tough on everything from...

Wall Street, government double down on fracking as evidence mounts it causes serious illness

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Some days it seems like the national debate over hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — is taking place in parallel and opposing universes. There’s the world that everyday American citizens live in, where evidence continues to heighten concerns that unregulated natural gas drilling is making folks sick by polluting the water they drink and the air that they breathe...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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