According to the Supreme Court, corporations are people. The absurdity of this statement notwithstanding, it is clear that, like people, corporations make mistakes, and sometimes commit crimes and atrocities. This week on Sea Change Radio we talk with two experts about the impact that two energy corporations have had on actual people. First, host Alex Wise speaks with Inside Climate News reporter Neela Banerjee about the stark contrast between what happened at Aliso Canyon and what happened near Mobile, Alabama when gas and chemical spills contaminated the communities there. The same company, Sempra Energy, was involved, and yet the response and aftermath were vastly different, with race and class factoring significantly into environmental justice outcomes. Then we hear from John Wilson, Head of Corporate Governance at Cornerstone Capital Group about the death of former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon. Facing widespread accusations that he cheated landowners out of the money they were promised in exchange for letting Chesapeake Energy drill for natural gas on their property, Chesapeake’s founder died in mysterious fashion. Wilson gives us his environmental, social, and corporate governance perspective on the corruption allegations and the demise of the man Forbes Magazine once called “the world’s most reckless billionaire.”
Even the most casual followers of energy policy have become aware of the controversy surrounding the massive expansion of fracking in this country over the past decade. Successful attempts to lift the curtain on fracking, like Josh Fox’s 2010 documentary film Gasland, have spurred a grassroots movement to push back on natural gas giants and lobbyists who would have us believe that fracking is clean and safe. So who is winning this battle for America’s health and well-being, fought on the parallel fronts of policy and PR?
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Neela Banerjee, a journalist who covers energy and environmental policy for the Los Angeles Times, to get an update on the latest developments in natural gas exploration. She talks about the fight to keep drinking water safe around the 77,000 natural gas wells throughout the country, and the controversy surrounding the use of unpermitted diesel fuel in the fracking process.
*Here’s a link to Sea Change Radio’s 2012 interview with Josh Fox
Hurricane Sandy highlighted the devastating effects of a changing climate and rising sea levels like perhaps no other event we have seen in this country. Will the silver lining of Sandy’s thousand-mile wide storm cloud be widespread recognition of the tangible and imminent dangers of climate change? This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Neela Banerjee, the energy and environment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, to discuss the impact of Sandy, not on the subways of New York or the Jersey shore, but on the media’s handling of climate change and in political discourse beyond the election.
In the past Sea Change Radio has sought the input of journalists and policy-makers on President Obama’s environmental record. So far, however, we have not looked at his challenger, Mitt Romney. Many onlookers find themselves baffled as they try to make sense of this candidate’s positions on multiple topics, including climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency, and energy policy. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with environmental journalist Neela Banerjee. A Washington DC-based reporter for the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, Banerjee helps shed some light on the Republican candidate who wants so badly to lead the United States. She discusses Romney’s past and current environmental positions and we get a glimpse of what a hypothetical Romney presidency might look like from a sustainability perspective.