Environmental Science

American Energy, Imperiled Coast: Oil and Gas Development in by Jason P. Theriot

By Jason P. Theriot

In the post--World warfare II period, Louisiana's coastal wetlands underwent an business transformation that put the zone on the middle of America's energy-producing hall. via the twenty-first century the Louisiana Gulf Coast provided approximately one-third of America's oil and fuel, accounted for half the country's refining means, and contributed billions of greenbacks to the U.S. financial system. this present day, millions of miles of pipelines and similar infrastructure hyperlink the state's coast to grease and gasoline shoppers national. through the process this ancient improvement, even if, the dredging of pipeline canals sped up coastal erosion. presently, eighty percentage of the U.S.' wetland loss happens on Louisiana's coast although the nation is domestic to simply forty percentage of the nation's wetland acreage, making obvious the large unin-tended environmental rate linked to generating power from the Gulf Coast.

In American power, Imperiled Coast Jason P. Theriot explores the strain among oil and gasoline improvement and the land-loss main issue in Louisiana. His booklet bargains an interesting research of either the extraordinary, albeit ecologically damaging, engineering feats that characterised business progress within the sector and the mounting environmental difficulties that threaten south Louisiana's groups, tradition, and "working" coast. As a historian and coastal Louisiana local, Theriot explains how pipeline expertise enabled the growth of oil and gasoline supply -- analyzing formerly unseen photos and corporate files -- and strains the industry's far-reaching environmental footprint within the wetlands. via specific study provided in a full of life and available narrative, Theriot items jointly many years of political, financial, social, and cultural undertakings that clashed within the Eighties and Nineties, while neighborhood voters, scientists, politicians, environmental teams, and oil and fuel pursuits begun scuffling with over the motives and results of coastal land loss. The venture to revive coastal Louisiana eventually collided with the perceived fiscal necessity of increasing offshore oil and fuel improvement on the flip of the twenty-first century. Theriot's e-book bridges the distance among those competing objectives.

From the invention of oil and gasoline lower than the marshes round coastal salt domes within the Twenties and Thirties to the emergence of environmental sciences and coverage reforms within the Nineteen Seventies to the colossal repercussions of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, American strength, Imperiled Coast eventually unearths that the usual and man-made forces accountable for quick environmental swap in Louisiana's wetlands during the last century can basically be harnessed via collaboration among private and non-private entities.

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Extra resources for American Energy, Imperiled Coast: Oil and Gas Development in Louisiana's Wetlands

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Tugboats hauling barges of crude from one bayou to the next used these natural waterways to transport cargo through the Intracoastal to storage terminals and refineries along the Gulf Coast. The price for barging crude usually amounted to no more than twenty-five cents per barrel; thus, “the cost of hauling by barge to deep water tankers [and refineries] is a minor transportation factor,” accord20 AN ENERGY LANDSCAPE EMERGES ing to one report. 11 The vast network of waterways in the coastal region made it more practical to move oil by barge, as opposed to laying expensive pipelines across the waterlogged landscape, at least in the beginning, when fields produced at most only a few thousand barrels a day.

The size and complexity of the platforms dwarfed those used at Caddo Lake, where the first open-water drilling and production operations began in 1908. Texaco’s installations at Terrebonne resembled small manufacturing plants equipped with processing equipment, tanks, power generation, living quarters, drill works, piping, and catwalks. By necessity, men lived and worked on these isolated platforms for up to fourteen days at a time, with little contact with the outside world, except for shortwave radio communication between stations and tugboat operators.

To making $400 a month running boats for Texaco, Rene Seneca worked thirty years for the company. “Texaco was good to me,” he said. “I had a good job. Never missed a day. I bought this house. Worked with Texaco, never had to worry. Every month, I paid it just like taking your medicine. Every month, I paid my note. I’ve got this home, it’s not a big mansion but thank God, it was good for my children and I raised three kids, sent them to school and everybody’s wife was satisfied. . ”45 Along with high-paying jobs, Texaco also provided additional taxes to the local government to fund public service projects.

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