DEC Not Up To The Job – Oil & Gas Industry Influences Regulators
Louis W. Allstadt
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Former Mobil Oil Corp. executive Louis W. Allstadt did not start out as an anti-fracking activist. He had to analyze the issue and then switch sides.
Initially, he bought into the natural gas industry’s gaudy promises that high-volume horizontal hydrofracturing could work economic miracles in rural upstate New York. He wrote in a 2009 newspaper opinion article that gas drilling “could provide enormous quantities of clean-burning natural gas with great economic benefits” to the state.
Virginia Albrecht (explore the Clean Water Timeline), dressed in a black double knit pantsuit and wearing small gold earrings, makes her way to the dais at the front of a large room in the law offices of Hunton & Williams, where she works. She is one of the last to arrive and has missed most of the small talk but waves to half a dozen colleagues as she crosses the front of the room, where she will lecture on the complexities of getting permits for building and other industry projects under the Clean Water Act.
Before the conference begins, Albrecht, 69, leans into the woman next to her as though she is consoling her. Fifteen minutes later, “Ginna,” as her friends call her, seems surprised when she is called on to talk, as though she does not think it is her turn yet. But she breezes through her lecture, in a plainspoken, this-really-isn’t-as-complicated-as-it-seems manner. Continue reading Virginia Albrecht: Undermining the Clean Water Act – Drop by Drop
Protesters chant at the gate of Schlumberger’s fracking supply depot in Horseheads, NY, Aug. 11. Schooled in the art of being arrested, they waited in vain for trucks hauling fracking sand to try to breach their ranks. (Photo: Shaleshock)
ALBANY, NY—Two months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confidently promised a rapid roll out of his plan to introduce high-volume fracking to New York State in a few rural upstate counties.
But his trial balloon for the initiative drew intense negative reactions, to which the governor has responded with dead silence. That has left both sides of the natural gas drilling debate wondering whether Cuomo will stick with the plan that all but flopped in its public test or go back to the drawing board. Continue reading Cuomo’s Fracking Plan: Politics Trumps Science
Experts warn the Arctic is ill equipped to deal with a potential cruise ship disaster
The M/S Explorer cruise ship sinks hours after hitting an iceberg off the coast of the Antarctic
Thanks to global warming, more ships than ever before will likely venture beyond the Arctic Circle this year. The melting polar ice caps have opened up new routes in recent years for natural gas exploration and tourism.
But the increased traffic, while it might be good for business, could have dire consequences in a region that is ill-prepared for a possible disaster, say experts interviewed for this story.
Lawson Brigham, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and lead author of the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, warns that rescue and salvage capabilities along with adequate navigational charts in much of the Arctic are limited. Combined with deadly cold water, an accident could be disastrous, he says. Continue reading Cruising the Arctic
A recent TEEB for Business report estimated that the world’s 100 largest corporations do $7.3 trillion in damages each year to the global environment. These “externalized” costs are not borne by the business itself, but by society as a whole. Changing the way that corporations do business is critical to solving global environmental crises such as climate change. In the book Corporation 2020, Pavan Sukhdev presents a vision of how » read more
www.dcbureau.org is a project of the Public Education Center, a 5013C Public Charity. The PEC hires career investigative reporters to conduct ground breaking reporting on major security and environmental issues for the sole purpose of public education. We need your support..
Sign up to receive national security and environmental news updates from DC Bureau:
On DCBureau are a story and timeline about the history of the Clean Water Act and the efforts to undermine it. Together they show an incremental, well-funded, organized campaign to weaken the law. On the 40th Anniversary of the Act, it is important to remember that environmental laws enjoyed bipartisan support for years. Weakening environmental regulations through the Congress and courts will have lasting, irreversible results.
Read in The New York » read more
A new web documentary quotes security experts as saying the Savannah River Site, where massive amounts of weapons-grade plutonium and other dangerous substances are stored, is vulnerable to a terrorist attack that could have dire consequences for the entire southeastern United States. The documentary reveals the Site is guarded by a foreign-owned firm with a checkered security record. The radioactive material is stored in aging buildings. The small private guard force » read more
Share Our Stories: Feel free to republish our articles, graphics and blog for free. Just credit us and link to us, but please don't edit our material or sell it separately. (We're licensed under Creative Commons, which provides the legal details.)