Pollution From Oil Wells and Industrial Sites Hit by Hurricane Laura Remains Unknown
The full extent of the damage wrought by the storm formerly known as Hurricane Laura will only continue to grow as the weakened storm continues inland and pollution from petrochemical plants and other industrial sites is discovered.
More than 1,400 active oil wells sit in the path Hurricane Laura carved through Louisiana's coastline, some of which are decades old and especially vulnerable due to the state's receding coastline.
"I have a lump in my throat thinking about them," Bob Bea, a specialist in catastrophic risk management and former well manager for Shell, told the New Orleans Advocate.
The environmental damage caused by leaking wells, as well as from pollution spread from other damaged industrial sites, may not be discovered for days as officials focus on search and rescue tasks in the wake of the storm.
The storm's rapid intensification, fueled by exceptionally warm sea-surface temperatures, likely made matters worse but overconfidence from regulators and oil companies is also to blame, according to Bea.
"When it comes to how we manage our platforms, pipelines, and wells, we here in the U.S. are not world leaders in risk management," he said.
"We're not Canada or Norway. We're not even a Third World country."
For a deeper dive:
- Pence Offers 'Prayers' as Hurricane Laura Hits Gulf Coast While ... ›
- Pence Dismisses Climate Action at RNC as Hurricane Hits Gulf Coast ›
- 'Unsurvivable Storm Surge' Expected as Hurricane Laura Hits Gulf ... ›
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
In this autumn of horrific fires and deadly floods, it's easy to overlook one bit of promising news on the climate front: Some major U.S. media coverage of the crisis is finally getting better.
- Media Avoid Climate Change in Wildfire and Extreme Weather ... ›
- 'Call It a Crisis': Report Details Failure of Cable and Network Outlets ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Leanna First-Arai
In a push to capture the rural vote, 62 percent of which went to Trump in 2016, both the Trump and Biden campaigns are ramping up efforts to appeal to farmers and ranchers.
- Trump's Post Office Chaos Leads to Deaths of Thousands of Chicks ... ›
- 6 Ways Trump Is Bad for Food, Health and the Environment ... ›
- Angering Organic Farmers and Advocates, Trump's USDA Kills ... ›
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that would ban the sale of new cars in California that run only on gasoline by the year 2035. The bid to reduce emissions and combat the climate crisis would make California the first state to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, according to POLITICO.
- How Norway Convinced Drivers to Switch to Electric Cars - EcoWatch ›
- Amsterdam Plans to Ban All Non-Electric Vehicles by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
- California Won't Buy From Automakers 'on the Wrong Side of History ... ›
- The UK Could Ban Gas and Diesel Car Sales in 12 Years - EcoWatch ›
- Spain Proposes Bill to Ban Gas and Diesel Vehicles - EcoWatch ›
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
- Annual Whale Slaughter Still a Tradition on the Faroe Islands ... ›
- Hundreds of Pilot Whales Die in Devastating Mass Stranding in New ... ›