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

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By Jason P. Theriot

In the post--World struggle II period, Louisiana's coastal wetlands underwent an commercial transformation that put the quarter on the middle of America's energy-producing hall. by means of the twenty-first century the Louisiana Gulf Coast provided approximately one-third of America's oil and fuel, accounted for 1/2 the country's refining ability, and contributed billions of greenbacks to the U.S. financial system. at the present time, millions of miles of pipelines and similar infrastructure hyperlink the state's coast to grease and fuel shoppers national. throughout the process this historical improvement, in spite of the fact that, the dredging of pipeline canals speeded up coastal erosion. at the moment, eighty percentage of the U.S.' wetland loss happens on Louisiana's coast even though the country is domestic to just forty percentage of the nation's wetland acreage, making obvious the large unin-tended environmental fee linked to generating power from the Gulf Coast.

In American strength, Imperiled Coast Jason P. Theriot explores the strain among oil and gasoline improvement and the land-loss challenge in Louisiana. His booklet bargains a fascinating research of either the extraordinary, albeit ecologically harmful, engineering feats that characterised business progress within the quarter 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 -- studying formerly unseen photos and corporate files -- and lines the industry's far-reaching environmental footprint within the wetlands. via precise examine provided in a full of life and obtainable narrative, Theriot items jointly a long time of political, financial, social, and cultural undertakings that clashed within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties, while neighborhood electorate, scientists, politicians, environmental teams, and oil and gasoline pursuits all started scuffling with over the reasons and effects of coastal land loss. The challenge to revive coastal Louisiana finally collided with the perceived monetary necessity of increasing offshore oil and fuel improvement on the flip of the twenty-first century. Theriot's ebook bridges the space among those competing objectives.

From the invention of oil and fuel 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 large repercussions of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, American power, Imperiled Coast finally finds that the usual and man-made forces liable for swift environmental swap in Louisiana's wetlands during the last century can in simple terms be harnessed via collaboration among private and non-private entities.

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That was the Depression. Sell two hundred pounds of shrimp for four dollars. . Income wasn’t much more than two hundred dollars a year, annual, annual income, and that’s for the fisherman. Here comes these people in this oil company started giving six, seven, eight dollars a day. ” 43 Pershing Lefort, a longtime employee of Texaco from Lafourche Parish, lived in Golden Meadow. Until the oil industry established operations in this tiny township that fronted Bayou Lafourche, fish34 AN ENERGY LANDSCAPE EMERGES ing and trapping were the two main economic activities.

In the 1950s, when pipeline construction became a major factor in coastal oil and gas operations, operators turned to the experienced dredging firms—notably, Williams Brothers, H. C. Price, and J. Ray McDermott—with their fleets of pipelaying barges and dredges to excavate pipeline canals. The introduction of specialized barges and dredged canals revolutionized operations in the wetlands by providing a cost-effective way to open up coastal 25 AMERICAN ENERGY, IMPERILED COAST areas for development.

In fact, very little dry land existed in south Terrebonne. Roseau cane and floating marshes, swamp lands, open bays, natural bayous, and barrier islands made up much of the region’s geographic features. As such, development of these fields depended almost entirely on an array of marine-based equipment and facilities, such as crew boats, tugboats, barges, floating tank storage, wood piling platforms, and submersible drilling units. A base of operations located in the wetlands along Bayou Terrebonne included camps for the workers, docks for supplies, boat launches and repair shops, and administrative offices.

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