Can We Solve the Oil Industry's Flaring Problem

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator
Texas oil flare

No. 147, Aug. 27, 2020

Hello Revelator readers,

So-called "routine flaring" from oil wells releases dangerous levels of greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions. Two states have finally started to address this glaring issue — just as the true scope of the problem emerges.

Are forever chemicals harming ocean life? Here's what we know (and don't know) about how dangerous PFAS chemicals travel ocean currents and hurt wildlife — and what that could mean for humans.

Rivers should not die in darkness. Our latest op-ed reveals threats to endangered fish in the Connecticut River that have remained out of the public eye — and what authorities need to do to fix, at long last, this 50-year-old problem.

Companies around the world are lining up to mine the seabed for valuable minerals. That will destroy critical underwater habitats, but the extent of the potential ecological impact remains unknown.

Learn more:

Wolverines haven't been seen in Washington's Mount Rainier National Park for more than 100 years — until this past week. Learn more about these elusive "skunk bears" and what blocks them from reaching many other new habitats.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Here are five more stories we're watching this week.  

1. "How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering" (The New York Times)

2. "Thousands Allowed to Bypass Environmental Rules in Pandemic" (AP)

3. "Proposed Pebble Mine Faces Setback Over Environmental Concerns" (KTUU)

4. "The Hunt for the Modern-day Pirates Who Steal Millions of Tons of Fish From the Seas" (Smithsonian Magazine)

5. "Black Turbine Blade 'Can Cut Bird Deaths'" (BBC)

What should we cover next?

Our stories rely on insight from experts, frontline activists and readers around the world — especially these days, when so much damage is being done behind the scenes, out of the public eye. We want to hear from you, so please drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

As August draws to a close, we'll dive into the issue of marine heat waves. And in the weeks ahead we'll have stories about ecological restoration, rights of nature and mountain gorillas.

Look for our latest links in next Thursday's newsletter — or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for headlines as they go live.

As always, thank you for reading — and stay safe.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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Photo of flare in West Texas oilfield by Jonathan Cutrer

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