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Natural Gas & Oil Drilling Topics

Democracy Now! reports on natural gas and oil drilling, with a focus on the environmental and human health effects.

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  • Seattle-kayak-shell-no-protest-1
    A major campaign is underway in Seattle against oil giant Shell’s plans to drill in the remote and pristine Arctic this summer. On Monday, hundreds blocked the entrance to the the city’s port, where Shell has docked its 400-foot-long, 355-foot-wide Arctic-bound Polar Pioneer drilling rig. On Saturday, about 500 environmentalists and indigenous leaders took to kayaks and small boats in a protest described as "Paddle in Seattle."...
    May 20, 2015 | Story
  • Arctic-sea-ice-drilling-shell-2
    The Obama administration has tentatively approved Shell’s plans to begin oil extraction off the Alaskan coast this summer. Federal scientists estimate the Arctic region contains up to 15 billion barrels of oil, and Shell has long fought to drill in the icy waters of the Chukchi Sea. Environmentalists warn Arctic drilling will pose a risk to local wildlife and exacerbate climate change. They fear that a drilling accident in the icy Arctic...
    May 14, 2015 | Story
  • Shell-seattle-protest-arctic-drilling-2
    The Port of Seattle has voted to seek the blockade of rigs used by the oil giant Shell for its planned drilling in the Arctic this summer. Shell has signed a lease to station its rigs in the Puget Sound while it drills for oil in pristine and highly remote waters in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. The Port of Seattle’s board called for a legal review of Shell’s plans and a temporary postponement of its docking. The move...
    May 14, 2015 | Story
  • Bp-oil-spill-deepwater-gulf-mexico-2
    We turn now from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico, where drilling has resumed near the site of the BP-operated offshore oil rig that exploded five years ago in the worst industrial environmental disaster in U.S. history. On Wednesday, Harper’s Magazine revealed a Louisiana-based oil company purchased the area from BP and is now drilling into the Macondo reservoir. The report also looks at the ongoing impact of the 2010 spill. We speak to...
    May 14, 2015 | Story
  • Rick-bourke
    We look at the case of Frederic "Rick" Bourke, who is considered a whistleblower after he was imprisoned for exposing corruption and bribery in the oil-rich region of the Caspian Sea. Bourke is known for founding the luxury handbag company Dooney & Bourke and is a philanthropist who has invested his wealth into ventures seeking novel cures for cancer. In the mid-1990s, he met a Czech national named Viktor Kozeny who recruited...
    March 31, 2015 | Story
  • Ecuador-foreign-minister-ricardo-patino
    The Obama administration is facing criticism across Latin America for leveling new sanctions against Venezuela and declaring the country an "unusual and extraordinary threat to national security." On Saturday, foreign ministers of the 12-country Union of South American Nations called for a revocation of the sanctions. In a statement, the ministers said: "It constitutes an interventionist threat to sovereignty and the principle...
    March 20, 2015 | Story
  • Patino-ecuador-foreign-minister-
    In Ecuador, thousands of people took to the streets in Quito and at least 12 other cities on Thursday to protest against the government of President Rafael Correa. In Quito, protesters held signs reading "We want democracy" and "Say no to re-election." Demonstrators rallied in part to oppose constitutional changes that would allow indefinite re-election of the president and other officials. We speak to Ecuadorean Foreign...
    March 20, 2015 | Story
  • Chris-christie-nj-exxon
    State senators in New Jersey have voted to condemn a $225 million settlement between Republican Gov. Chris Christie and ExxonMobil, which saved the oil giant billions of dollars. New Jersey quietly agreed to accept less than 3 percent of the $8.9 billion it had initially sought from Exxon over pollution at two refinery sites. That amounts to just three cents on the dollar. On Monday, lawmakers asked a judge to reject the deal, calling it...
    March 20, 2015 | Story
  • Maduro-venezuela-sanctions-us
    Tensions between the United States and Venezuela are increasing after the Obama administration declared Venezuela to be an "unusual and extraordinary threat to national security" and slapped sanctions on seven top officials for alleged human right violations and corruption. On Tuesday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro asked the National Assembly for increased power to protect the country’s integrity and sovereignty from what...
    March 11, 2015 | Story
  • Keystonexlpipelineprotestcongress
    President Obama has vetoed a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. The White House says the move is not a judgment on the pipeline’s merits, but a bid to see through a State Department review that will determine whether the project is in the national interest. Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have warned against further development of the tar sands oil fields in Canada. In 2011, NASA climate scientist...
    February 25, 2015 | Story