Book ID: CBB664447668

A thousand ways denied: The environmental legacy of oil in Louisiana (2020)


John Thomas Arnold (Author)

Louisiana State University Press

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 271
Language: English

From the hill country in the north to the marshy lowlands in the south, Louisiana and its citizenry have enjoyed the hard-earned fruits of the oil and gas industry's labor. Stories abound of pioneering exploration, engineering achievements, production technologies, and economic prosperity. With those successes, though, have come also the contamination and degradation of other natural resources. In [this book] John T. Arnold documents the oil industry's sharp interface with Louisiana's environment. He traces the history of oil-field practices and their ecological impacts in tandem with environmental regulations and their non-enforcement. The book draws on government, corporate, and personal files, many previously untapped. Arnold reveals that early on, Louisiana instituted conservation programs and policies in recognition of its vast wealth of natural resources. With the proliferation of oil production, though, government agencies splintered between those promoting production and others committed to preventing pollution. As oil's economic and political strength grew, regulations commonly went unobserved and unenforced. Meanwhile over the decades, oil, saltwater, and chemicals flowed across the ground, through natural drainages, and down waterways. A maze of interconnected canals were dredged with tank batteries, pits, and equipment on their spoil banks. Fish and wildlife fled their habitats, and drinking-water supplies were ruined. In later years, debates raged over the cause for coastal land loss. Oil is an inseparable part of Louisiana's culture and politics, Arnold asserts, but the state's original vision for caring for its natural resources has become compromised. He urges a return to those foundational conservation principles or otherwise risk the loss of Louisiana's people, viable uses of its land, and, in some places, its very way of life. (Publisher)

Reviewed By

Review Brian C. Black (July 2021) Review of "A thousand ways denied: The environmental legacy of oil in Louisiana". Technology and Culture (pp. 935-937). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Olmsted, Kathryn
Oropeza, Lorena
Barrett, Mary L.
Deans, Bob
Lehner, Peter
Tarr, Joel A.
Environmental History
Oil-Industry History
Technology and Culture
Business History Review
Louisiana State University Press
University of California, Davis
Bloomsbury Publishing
Duke University Press
Rowman & Littlefield
Environmental policy
Environmental pollution
Petroleum industry
Environmental history
Oil; natural gas
Environmental degradation
Reagan, Ronald
Carter, Jimmy
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
19th century
18th century
17th century
United States
Louisiana (U.S.)
California (U.S.)
Gulf of Mexico
Costa Rica (Caribbean)
United States. Environmental Protection Agency

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