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. by way of the twenty-first century the Louisiana Gulf Coast provided approximately one-third of America's oil and gasoline, accounted for 1/2 the country's refining means, and contributed billions of bucks to the U.S. economic system. at the present time, hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines and similar infrastructure hyperlink the state's coast to grease and fuel shoppers national. in the course of the process this historical improvement, even though, the dredging of pipeline canals sped up coastal erosion. at present, eighty percentage of the USA' wetland loss happens on Louisiana's coast even though the nation is domestic to just forty percentage of the nation's wetland acreage, making obtrusive the big unin-tended environmental price linked to generating power from the Gulf Coast.
In American strength, Imperiled Coast Jason P. Theriot explores the stress among oil and gasoline improvement and the land-loss obstacle in Louisiana. His publication bargains an attractive research of either the awesome, albeit ecologically damaging, engineering feats that characterised business development 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 -- interpreting formerly unseen photos and corporate documents -- and strains the industry's far-reaching environmental footprint within the wetlands. via special learn provided in a full of life and available narrative, Theriot items jointly many years of political, monetary, social, and cultural undertakings that clashed within the Eighties and Nineties, whilst neighborhood voters, scientists, politicians, environmental teams, and oil and gasoline pursuits started struggling with over the explanations and effects of coastal land loss. The undertaking 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 publication 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 Seventies to the colossal repercussions of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, American power, Imperiled Coast eventually unearths that the normal and man-made forces answerable for swift 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 info for American Energy, Imperiled Coast: Oil and Gas Development in Louisiana's Wetlands
In Lake Barre, Texaco designed the ﬂoors of its pump barges so that spilled oil and brine would ﬂow to the center, where it could be collected in a steel tank beneath the derrick.
6 Griff Lee, an industry pioneer and former manager with J. Ray McDermott’s pipeline and dredging division, acknowledged the limitations of board road construction through the wetlands. The road “couldn’t go very far and it couldn’t go in very severe conditions,” he said. “That could only go into the marginal—somewhere between land and water. But when it got out into the real marsh or swamp, a board road wouldn’t do. To build a timber trestle out there would be just too expensive. That is where the dredge canals ﬁrst came in” to open up the vast coastal areas to barge-mounted equipment.
The fact that wetlands served important ecological functions, which increased their value, would not become common knowledge for several decades. To drill a well, companies also needed a drilling permit provided by the state’s mineral board. With no requirements for disposing of the dredged material, except in cases where the canal crossed navigable streams, contractors simply placed the spoil along the banks of the newly built canal. Over time, these spoil banks that piled up on the marsh surface altered natural drainage patterns and caused long-term, unintended environmental impacts.
American Energy, Imperiled Coast: Oil and Gas Development in Louisiana's Wetlands by Jason P. Theriot