Stories by Abrahm Lustgarten

Abrahm Lustgarten covers energy, water, climate change and the environment for ProPublica. He is a former staff writer and contributor for Fortune, and has written for Salon, Esquire, the Washington Post and the New York Times. subscribe to Abrahm Lustgarten's feed

Posted on: Aug 4, 2015, Source: ProPublica

The state’s cities need water. Its farmers have it. Could leasing rights to it solve the crisis responsibly?

Posted on: Nov 14, 2014, Source: ProPublica

The Justice Department's inquiry comes after years of complaints from landowners who say they have been underpaid for leasing land to the energy giant.

Posted on: Jul 19, 2014, Source: ProPublica

State’s drought has forced farmers to rely on groundwater, even as California aquifers have been intentionally polluted due to exemptions for oil industry.

Posted on: Aug 13, 2013, Source: ProPublica

Thousands of landowners are receiving far less than they expected based on the sales value of gas or oil produced on their property. Some are being paid virtually nothing at all.

Posted on: Jul 9, 2013, Source: ProPublica

Environmentalists are seeing an agency that is systematically disengaging from any research that could be perceived as questioning the safety of fracking or oil drilling.

Posted on: Feb 25, 2013, Source: ProPublica

The rush to get access to oil on tribal lands is part of the oil industry's larger push to secure drilling rights across the United States.

Posted on: Dec 13, 2012, Source: ProPublica

The government has allowed energy and mining companies to pollution aquifers in more than 1,500 places in the U.S.

Posted on: Nov 29, 2012, Source: ProPublica

The Obama administration temporarily banned BP from federal contracts, but the sanction has been years in the making.

Posted on: Sep 20, 2012, Source: ProPublica

Despite huge dangers, injection wells have proliferated because they are the fastest, cheapest way to take care of industrial waste.

Posted on: May 2, 2012, Source: ProPublica

But the study concluded that natural faults and fractures in the Marcellus, exacerbated by the effects of fracking itself, could allow chemicals to reach the surface.

Posted on: Apr 20, 2012, Source: ProPublica

What is missing is a criminal prosecution that holds responsible the individuals who gambled with the lives of BP's contractors and the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted on: Mar 20, 2012, Source: ProPublica

But what the EPA didn't say publicly is that the water samples contained dangerous quantities of methane gas and other chemicals.

Posted on: Dec 11, 2011, Source: ProPublica

The agency's findings could be a turning point in the heated national debate about fracking.

Posted on: Sep 19, 2011, Source: ProPublica

Environmentalists have long been calling for the disclosure of chemicals in fracking and now even some industry execs are on board, too.

Posted on: May 18, 2011, Source: ProPublica

Drilling companies themselves have been diligently collecting water samples from private wells before they drill -- but they're not sharing the information.

Posted on: May 10, 2011, Source: ProPublica

Researchers found that levels of flammable methane gas in drinking water wells increased to dangerous levels when those water supplies were close to natural gas wells.

Posted on: Mar 10, 2011, Source: ProPublica

Instead of ratcheting up oversight, PA's governor wants to hand authority over some of the state's most critical environmental decisions to an energy executive.

Posted on: Jan 27, 2011, Source: ProPublica

When taking into account emissions from extraction and piping, gas may be as little as 25 percent cleaner than coal, or perhaps even less.

Posted on: Jan 18, 2011, Source: ProPublica

The Natural Gas Caucus received 19 times more money from the oil and gas industry between 2009 and 2010 than those Congressional leaders wanting fracking regulation.

Posted on: Nov 9, 2010, Source: ProPublica

A New York Times article questions whether methane in PA water wells is from drilling or natural causes -- the answer is clear.

Posted on: Nov 9, 2010, Source: ProPublica

The gas-warning system is undependable, the giant turbines are aging and some waste holding tanks are on the verge of collapse.

Posted on: Sep 3, 2010, Source: ProPublica

Researchers found benzene, metals, naphthalene, phenols and methane in wells and in groundwater.

Posted on: Jun 10, 2010, Source: ProPublica

Internal investigations warned BP for years that the company had created a culture of disregard for safety and environmental rules and risked a serious accident.

Posted on: May 18, 2010, Source: ProPublica

BP allegedly ignored warnings about its enormous Atlantis rig, and instead emphasized saving money.

Posted on: May 4, 2010, Source: ProPublica

The dispersants contain harmful toxins of their own and can concentrate leftover oil toxins in the water, where they can kill fish and migrate great distances.

Posted on: Apr 30, 2010, Source: ProPublica

The company has found itself at the center of several of the nation's worst oil and gas–related disasters in the last five years.

Posted on: Apr 8, 2010, Source: ProPublica

It seems fitting that the industry would be concerned by what the EPA may find in regards to the safety of drinking water.

Posted on: Mar 19, 2010, Source: ProPublica

The EPA first undertook this investigation in 2004, but strangely failed to test any actual water samples before reaching their conclusion. This time looks to be different.

Posted on: Dec 29, 2009, Source: ProPublica

New York City officials have called for a ban on natural gas drilling within the city’s 2,000-square-mile upstate watershed.

Posted on: Dec 17, 2009, Source: ProPublica

The energy industry has developed innovative ways to make it easier to exploit the nation's natural gas reserves without polluting air and drinking water.

Posted on: Dec 1, 2009, Source: ProPublica

The civil case, filed in Scranton, Pa., seeks to stop future drilling in the Marcellus Shale by Cabot Oil and Gas near the town of Dimock.

Posted on: Nov 10, 2009, Source: ProPublica

In a state hardly equipped to deal with such materials, drilling advocates have yet to explain where the water will go.

Posted on: Oct 1, 2009, Source: ProPublica

Have the necessary precautions been put in place by the state to safeguard drinking water for 9 million people?

Posted on: Sep 24, 2009, Source: ProPublica

More bad news about the threats to water quality from drilling operations that use fracking.

Posted on: Aug 5, 2009, Source: ProPublica

Methane released from gas drilling has caused a fatal explosion and water contamination across seven counties in Pennsylvania.

Posted on: Jul 9, 2009, Source: ProPublica

The industry is misleading the public into a false choice between the economy and the environment.

Posted on: Jun 16, 2009, Source: ProPublica

The bills would require the energy industry to disclose the chemicals it uses in a controversial drilling practice that threatens drinking water.

Posted on: May 26, 2009, Source: ProPublica

Congress is having second thoughts about the environmental dangers posed by the burgeoning gas drilling industry.

Posted on: Apr 30, 2009, Source: ProPublica

When houses are exploding because of gas seeping into well water, you know you have a serious problem.

Posted on: Feb 27, 2009, Source: ProPublica

The state has done little to study the impacts drilling might have on water supplies and is unprepared to treat the waste water it produces.