Imagining California Without Oil Refineries

Not Being Gasoline Consumers Has Become Part of Residents' Identity

On the morning of May 31, Robert Hubina hurt his foot, so he skipped surfing to walk on the beach in Ventura, where he saw a dolphin with black tar in its mouth, lying dead amongst the rocks. He quickly realized it came from the 100,000 gallon Goleta oil pipeline spill north of Santa Barbara and took a photo with his phone. Then he saw another dolphin and photographed that, too. The two photos were shared more than 2,300 times on Facebook, with people adding anti-oil hashtags, including #leaveoilinthesoil.

The …

There’s No Such Thing as a Spill-Proof Way to Transport Oil

Even the World’s First Long-Distance Pipeline that Crossed the Alleghenies in 1879 Was Prone to Accidents and Sabotage

To a historian of pipelines, last month’s Santa Barbara oil spill is a reminder that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Since their first introduction in …

At Minus 40 Degrees, It’s Hard to Argue for More Wilderness

Why the Fight Over the Arctic Wildlife Refuge Is as Bitter as Our Alaskan Winters

The value of virgin land on the frontier is based on what it can yield in economic terms. Alaska’s conservationists knew this and wanted to preserve entire landscapes for their …

Vladimir’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

Plummeting Oil Prices and Political Overreach Will Put a Premature End to the Putin Era

A year ago, Vladimir Putin had every reason to look forward to a victory lap. As he presided over final preparations for the Winter Olympics, he felt emboldened by his …

Give the Oscar to Kern County

A New Film Shot in the Oil Town of Taft Offers Some Unexpected Insights into the Golden State

Sure, California has everything. But where would you find a murderous, Farsi-speaking, chador-wearing vampire riding her skateboard around an oil city with the slow swagger of Clint Eastwood?

Kern County, of …

Why Californians Should Love Chevron

Our State Needs the Big Ruthless Oil Company—and Chevron Needs Us

Dear Chevron,

I will not compare thee to a summer’s day. I cannot say you smell like a rose.

But make no mistake: I love you.

You are unaccustomed, I know, to getting …