Even earthquakes don’t kill the dream of extreme oil


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...

When will fracking’s other shoe drop? Cancer


The process of fracking is a relatively new one. In fact, sometimes I think we forget just how new it is. It was just mid-2000s that word spread among industry officials about a new technology to affordably free up oil and natural gas trapped in tiny pockets within shale formations — and Congress and the Bush administration enacted favorable energy legislation. In those early years...

The most damning evidence against fracking yet!


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...

Bayou Corne, natural gas, and the law of unintended consequences


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...

The insanity of manmade earthquakes from fracking


Here’s a statistic that should tell you everything you need to know about what’s gone wrong with the fracking boom in America: Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than California! And that is not some freak of nature. It’s all but certain that humans are responsible: The Sooner State may be better known for tornadoes. But since October, Oklahoma has had more quakes than...

More proof that fracking is fooling with Mother Nature


Something funny happened last Saturday during the annual big game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, a game that locals in the Sooner State refer to as “Bedlam.” The kicker for Oklahoma State calmly booted a long field through the uprights — even though the ground was shaking underneath him. That’s right — in what may have been a first in college football history...

The earth moved: Link between fracking and earthquakes is established


Over recent months, we’ve talked on this blog about numerous reasons for taking a much more cautious approach on the natural gas drilling process known as fracking. There is a growing body of evidence that fracking has been linked to contamination of drinking water wells — so much so that in some cases methane gas has created smelly tap water that can be set on fire with a match. Air...

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