Dry California

In Dry California, Thirsty Oil and Big-Ag Industries Exempt from Water Regulations

As California Governor Jerry Brown this week instituted the state’s first-ever mandatory restrictions on water usage to combat its historic four-year drought, environmental activists are pointing out two glaring exemptions from the order: the fossil fuel and agriculture industries. Brown’s mandate, announced Wednesday, directs cities and communities to cut down their water consumption by 25 percent, but does not make …

water from the tap

Fracking Companies Keep 10% of Chemicals Secret, EPA Says

By Neela Banerjee,  InsideClimate News Mar 31, 2015 Oil and gas companies refuse to disclose 10 percent of the hundreds of chemicals they use during hydraulic fracturing, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency. The revelation comes in a major installment of the EPA’s study of the potential risks of fracking on drinking water. The agency’s assessment …

Fracking waste

States Fail to Properly Manage Fracking Waste, Says Groundbreaking Report

It might seem illogical, but in 1988 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put a loophole in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) which regulates hazardous and solid waste, exempting the waste from oil and gas exploration, development and production (E &P) from oversight. While it conceded that such wastes might indeed be hazardous, it said that state regulations were …

fracking-infographic

Fracking Town’s Desperate Laid-off Workers: ‘They Don’t Tell You It’s All a Lie’

From the looks of it, the nation’s boomtown is still booming. Big rigs, cement mixers and oil tankers still clog streets built for lighter loads. The air still smells like diesel fuel and looks like a dust bowl— all that traffic — and natural gas flares, wasted byproducts of the oil wells, still glare out at the night sky like …

gas-pipelines

Fossil Fuel Industry Is Quietly Building Pipeline Network that ‘Dwarfs Keystone’ XL

Despite public opposition that has so far blocked the building of theKeystone XL pipeline, the fossil fuels industry has successfully—and quietly—expanded the nation’s domestic oil network by installing thousands of miles of pipeline across the country, according to new reporting by the Associated Press. “Overall, the network has increased by almost a quarter in the last decade,” the AP reports. “And the work dwarfs Keystone. About 3.3 …

Fracking Farm

Fracking Used to Inject Nuclear Waste Underground for Decades

Unearthed articles from the 1960s detail how nuclear waste was buried beneath the Earth’s surface by Halliburton & Co. for decades as a means of disposing the by-products of post-World War II atomic energy production. Fracking is already a controversial practice on its face; allowing U.S. industries to inject slurries of toxic, potentially carcinogenic compounds deep beneath the planet’s surface — as …

Peak Meaninglessness

Last week’s discussion of externalities—costs of doing business that get dumped onto the economy, the community, or the environment, so that those doing the dumping can make a bigger profit—is, I’m glad to say, not the first time this issue has been raised recently.  The long silence that closed around such things three decades ago is finally cracking; they’re being mentioned …