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Robert L. Cavnar
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Bob Cavnar is a 30 plus year energy industry veteran based in Houston, a regular commentator on national network television, and is active in local and national politics. He brings a pragmatic business perspective to his commentary, often going contrary to traditional industry political positions in expressing his opinions on energy, healthcare, media, and politics.

In 2011, Mr. Cavnar founded this-small-planet, focused on environment, energy policy, climate change, diversity, equality, and social justice. He is also founder and editor of The Daily Hurricane, a collaborative blog, that covers politics, science, education, and current affairs. You can find his blogs at http://this-small-planet.com and http://dailyhurricane.com

Entries by Robert L. Cavnar

Four Years After the Blowout... Has Anything Changed?

(1) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 4:37 PM

Four years ago this Sunday night, BP's Mississippi Canyon Block 252 well blew out, killing 11 workers, destroying the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible rig, and putting an estimated 5 million barrels of oil into the water. The Gulf continues to suffer the effects of oil that remains, and many shore-based businesses...

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'The Great Invisible' at SXSW -- The Story of the BP Well Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 11:59 AM

Yesterday afternoon, Margaret Brown's new film, The Great Invisible, premiered at the State Theatre at SXSW in Austin. It is the story of the BP well blowout in the Gulf in 2010, and follows several main characters whose lives were forever changed by tragedy. I was privileged to...

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50 Years Ago in Texas - Through the Eyes of a Ten Year Old

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 8:56 PM

I was sitting in Miss Chambliss' 5 grade classroom at Oakhurst Elementary School in Fort Worth.  It was a beautiful, crisp late autumn day, one of those days we cherish, living in the oven that is often Texas.  We had just come in from lunchtime recess and were getting back...

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An Unreal Dream: Justice and Reform Win Over Corruption

(2) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 12:31 PM

This weekend, the Houston Cinema Arts Festival was held in venues all around the downtown area with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston at its center; in its final session last night the festival screened  An Unreal Dream, the story about Michael Morton, who was wrongly...

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New Technologies Drive Texas Oil Production to Old Heights

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 9:41 AM

Texas has been known for decades as the oil state, accompanied by the quintessential stereotype of oilman as a big, loud buffoon, wearing boots and a 10-gallon hat with oil wells in his backyard.  Embarrassingly, that stereotype has been perpetuated over the years by the antics of some of our...

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Support Sustainability; Build a Table

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 4:06 PM

This past weekend, I participated in a remarkable program that combines furniture making with an effort to educate about sustainability. The program is called the Naked Table Project, begun five years ago by Charles Shackleton, furniture maker and co-founder of Shackleton Thomas in Bridgewater, Vermont. Called...

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Is Kessler Simply Paranoid, or Is There Marketing Involved?

(27) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 5:27 PM

Up until a few weeks ago, Gilberton, Pennsylvania was a quiet, peaceful borough of 800 people just northwest of Allentown. Recently, however, not so much. The borough's peaceful way of life has been shattered by a guy named Mark Kessler, who happens to be the town's one-man police force, when...

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Santa Monica Shooter Built His Gun From Parts He Bought Online

(73) Comments | Posted June 15, 2013 | 2:25 PM

Yesterday, we learned from the Santa Monica Police that the .223 caliber AR-15 type semi-automatic rifle that John Zawahri used to kill five people during his rampage last Friday was assembled from parts he bought through the Internet. To make matters worse, the California gun law had actually...

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Gun Violence in America: The Continuing Tragedy

(1043) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 9:47 AM

Saturday, yet another troubled young man, this time in Santa Monica California, went on a rampage with a semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle equipped with high-capacity magazines. During that rampage, he fired his weapon numerous times from a vehicle he hijacked to the library of Santa Monica College, where...

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Against Banning High Capacity Firearms? Then Watch This

(114) Comments | Posted May 4, 2013 | 6:10 PM

Yesterday, police in Middlefield Ohio released shocking video of a routine traffic stop on March 10. When police pulled James Gilkerson over, he climbed out of his car with an AK-47, rapidly firing 37 shots before his gun jammed or he ran out of ammunition. Officer Erin Thomas...

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The Other Hazard of Hydraulic Fracturing -- Silica in the Air

(42) Comments | Posted March 31, 2013 | 11:45 AM

In my early career in the oilfield, when I was working on cement and frac crews, I breathed plenty of dust from cement, frac sand, and powdered guar used to make frac gel. Throw in a little xylene and hydrochloric acid, and I think my lungs have experienced plenty of...

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What the Hell Has Happened to Texas?

(426) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 6:08 PM

Recently, Texas attorney general Greg Abbott cranked up his unlimited-contribution-campaign machine to go up against Rick Perry's unlimited-contribution-campaign machine for governor in 2014. Perry, who's known for gun play, stumbled badly during the 2012 presidential primary season, and been seen lately as vulnerable in his quest...

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Wild Conspiracy Theories: The Weird Side of the Gun Debate

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 9:40 PM

In the month since the shocking tragedy of the Newtown massacre, the debate it rekindled has taken a turn that no other bloody incident in our recent history had yet been able to motivate; that is, to actually stiffen the resolve of everyday Americans to take a stand, demanding that...

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Let's Talk About Gun Responsibility and Accountability

(126) Comments | Posted December 16, 2012 | 2:41 PM

The conversation has finally begun. After 20 innocent children and six of their teachers were brutally murdered at their desks by a severely disturbed young man using powerful semi-automatic weapons in a school in Newtown Connecticut, the fog of the nation's collective awareness of gun violence has begun to clear....

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BP Banned; the Difficult Road Back

(22) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 5:53 PM

This morning, the EPA announced that BP has been banned from acquiring any new U.S. government contracts due to its "lack of business integrity." The agency said the ban will continue until BP proves that it can meet government established business standards. The ban does not effect current contracts. BP...

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'Circle of Trust' at BP Did Not Include the Government

(5) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 8:39 AM

We may know later today what criminal penalties the U.S. government will impose on BP for its tragic blowout and subsequent oil spill that polluted the Gulf Of Mexico in 2010. FuelFix, the energy blog for the Houston Chronicle, and Reuters are reporting that settlement has...

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Lessons the GOP Need to Learn From the 2012 Election

(100) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 7:50 AM

It became apparent fairly early in the evening last night that the Republicans were going to get thumped.  As state results began to march across the map, with major battleground states turning blue, and Tea Party candidates losing, Republican hopes waned.  Their plan simply didn't work.  The hundreds of millions...

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Persistent Oil Sheen at Macondo Well Site

(6) Comments | Posted October 27, 2012 | 1:08 PM

There has been a persistent oil sheen near the site of BP's Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico ever since the well was shut in and eventually plugged in late 2010. Alarmists use that oil sheen as some kind of evidence that the well is flowing, alleging a...

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Fading Away: A Lesson in Life, Death, and Reconciliation

(2) Comments | Posted October 6, 2012 | 6:09 PM

About mid-August, I got the phone call from my big brother that I was dreading. "Mom is going down, and she wants to see you," he said. The confrontation I had been avoiding for months was upon me, and I wasn't going to get out of it. It was time....

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Of Ice, Whales, and Lack of Leadership

(15) Comments | Posted September 16, 2012 | 10:17 PM

Exactly one week ago, Shell triumphantly announced the resumption of drilling in the offshore Arctic after a 20-year hiatus. The drillship Noble Discoverer spud (began drilling) the first new Burger prospect well in the Chukchi Sea; less than 24 hours later, they had to shut down and move...

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