Patent law has a dirty history. A legal mechanism refined in the industrial revolution, patent law has sought to encourage manufacturing and industry – the ‘Progress of Science and the Useful Arts’. Patent law has provided incentives for research and development for a wide range of polluting technologies, such as oil, coal, gas. (more…)
In a scramble for new sources of natural gas, European energy companies are increasingly turning to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a drilling technique that has generated controversy in the U.S. because of potential harmful environmental effects.
In Poland, Halliburton has constructed a well for the state-owned Polish Oil and Gas (more…)
The key executives of the companies responsible for the titanic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico were raked over the coals by members of Congress this week and managed to skillfully dance away and blame each other when the grilling got too hot.
Called to account before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (D) of California, were BP America President Lamar McKay; Steven Newman, CEO of well driller Transocean limited; and Halliburton chief health, safety and environmental officer Tim Probert.
In their testimony, all three men appeared simultaneously to accept responsibility for what happened then shift the blame to the other parties. All relied heavily on the fact that critical details regarding the precise cause of the accident are not yet available. Indeed, when asked by several senators about whether certain industry standards for building ocean-based oil rigs were followed, the witnesses indicated several times that they didn’t know the answer or would have to wait for the outcome of what they promised will be a thorough investigation of the disaster. (more…)