Abrahm Lustgarten writes about energy, water, climate change, and anything else having to do with the environment. Before coming to ProPublica in 2008, he was a staff writer and contributor for Fortune, and has written for Wired, Salon, Esquire, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
Two new analyses make clear the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense have downplayed the public-health threat posed by chemicals used to develop Teflon and Scotchgard.
The state’s cities need water. Its farmers have it. Maybe leasing rights to it could solve the crisis responsibly.
“Use it or lose it” clauses give farmers, ranchers, and governments holding water rights a powerful incentive to use more water than they need.
An initial review of rules issued by the Interior Department shows the federal government has taken important steps to protect drinking water resources, while not adopting the strictest regulations in place in some states.
The Justice Department’s inquiry comes after an investigation and years of complaints from landowners who say they have been underpaid for leasing land to the energy giant for drilling.
The state’s drought has forced farmers to rely on groundwater, even as aquifers have been intentionally polluted due to exemptions for the oil industry.
Income from oil and gas production doesn’t always trickle down to landowners, as companies find ways to minimize the share they pay in royalties.
When the Environmental Protection Agency abruptly retreated on its investigation into water contamination in a central Wyoming natural gas field recently, it shocked environmentalists and energy industry supporters alike.