Tara Lohan

Tara Lohan has over a decade of experience writing about the intersections of water, food, and energy. In 2013, she embarked on a cross-country project, Hitting Home, documenting the community impacts of unconventional energy production on communities. Her work has been published by Bill Moyers, Salon, The Nation, AlterNet, Earth Island Journal, and others. 

Recent Articles

Will Big Finance Join the Fight to Curb Global Warming?

(AP Photos/Francois Mori)
(AP Photos/Francois Mori) French President Francois Hollande, right, and other world leaders applaud global climate agreement. World leaders have approved a historic agreement that they hope will forestall the global droughts, famines, and superstorms unleashed by climate change, but they won’t be able to follow through without a key player: the finance sector. To move the needle in any meaningful way toward a low carbon economy requires money. Lots of it. For years, the arguments for preventing runaway climate change have been largely scientific, ethical and moral. Now, a strong new case is being made that combating global warming makes economic sense, and that could significantly change the debate. “Investment managers need to integrate climate change into their fiduciary duties, given both the opportunities the low-carbon economy presents, as well as the great financial risks posed by the impacts of climate change,” said Sébastien Lépinard, founder...

The Push to Repeal the Crude Export Ban Shows Shale Companies Are Getting Desperate

Plagued by low prices and overstretched by the drilling boom, oil companies are leading a push to repeal the longstanding crude export ban. 

AP Photo/Eric Gay, File
Oil producers and their friends in Washington are lobbying hard to lift restrictions on the export of crude oil. Two weeks ago, the House voted in favor of a bill introduced by Representative Joe Barton to eliminate restrictions on exporting crude oil and amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which was put in place following the oil embargo that had caused price shocks and long gas-station lines just a few years before. The bill cleared the House 261 to 159, with support from most Republicans and 26 Democrats. But it faces much more of an uphill battle in the Senate. In some ways, the fight over crude export restrictions may seem a little Beltway-insider to most Americans, but it actually provides a critical window into discussions about U.S. energy priorities. Let’s start with some background. Often referred to as a “crude export ban,” the current policy places restrictions only on the export of crude, which is unrefined petroleum, and doesn’t...

How Solar Is Lighting the Way for Recovery in Nepal

Renewable energy companies have formed a coalition to repower the country after its massive earthquake. 

(Photo: Milap Dwa)
In the days following Nepal’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25, as massive power outages complicated relief efforts, Sandeep Giri and his coworkers were shaken but determined to help. Giri, who was born and raised in Nepal, is the CEO of Gham Power , a solar company that’s been operating in Nepal for the last five years. After the earthquake, Gham Power’s employees sprung into action to deploy solar power systems that could power lights and mobile charging stations for relief workers and the displaced. Besides basic needs like medical attention, food, water, and shelter, electricity is a major issue in the wake of a disaster, says Giri. “First, you don't want to be in the dark, as it's scary, you don't feel safe, and it is also very cumbersome to get or administer relief without light. Second, in this day and age, your first instinct is to reach out for your loved ones to check if they are okay and let them know you are OK. And when you reach for your...

Why California's Drought Is the Nation's Problem

Rising food prices, unsafe drinking water—climate change will only make things worse unless stronger measures are taken.

(Photo: Governor's Press Office, California)
View image | gettyimages.com It was the worst kind of photo op. California Governor Jerry Brown and other state employees assembled in the Sierra Nevada mountain community of Phillips Station two weeks ago for the annual snow survey. Every year since 1941, April 1 has been the day of reckoning—a time to take stock of the winter’s accumulation and plan for how much spring runoff may help fill the state’s reservoirs, feed its rivers and streams, and be available for irrigated agriculture. This year was grim. The area, at nearly 7,000 feet of elevation, usually has about five feet or more of snow at this time of year. But this year, there was no snow on the ground. Brown launched a press conference in the middle of a field of brown grass and announced mandatory drought restrictions for the state as part of an executive order that aims to restrict urban water use by 25 percent in the next year, spur the replacement of lawns with drought tolerant plants, and increase...

One Man's Battle Against the Crude-Oil 'Bomb Trains' Running Through His Backyard

Ed Ruszel didn't set out to be an environmental activist. Then Valero Energy announced a plan to bring 3 million gallons of tar-sands crude—every day—within feet of his family business.

(Photo/Sarah Craig for Faces of Fracking)
Photographs by Sarah Craig Ed Ruszel’s workday is a soundtrack of whirling, banging, screeching—the percussion of wood being cut, sanded, and finished. He’s the facility manager for the family business, Ruszel Woodworks . But one sound each day roars above the cacophony of the woodshop: the blast of the train horn as cars cough down the Union Pacific rail line that runs just a few feet from the front of his shop in an industrial park in Benicia, California. Most days the train cargo is beer, cars, steel, propane, or petroleum coke. But soon two trains of 50 cars each may pass by every day carrying crude oil to a refinery owned by neighboring Valero Energy. Valero is hoping to build a new rail terminal at the refinery that would bring 70,000 barrels a day by train—or nearly 3 million gallons. And it’s a sign of the times. Crude by rail has increased 4,000 percent across the country since 2008 and California is feeling the effects. By 2016 the amount of...