Even before the tragedy in Fukushima, it’s been clear that America’s aging nuclear power plants are an accident waiting to happen — and desperately need to be taken off line. That’s happened far too slowly, nor has safety been the only issue. When policy makers did decommission some of the nation’s most dangerous plants, such as California’s oceanfront San Onofre facility that was far too close for comfort to the [...]

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In the roughly six years I’ve been writing in this spot, one constant has been this” News of what the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas does to the health of the planet, and the people who live here, just keep getting worse and worse. In the beginning, public officials insisted the process was 100 percent safe and could not possibly pollute public water supplies. But [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Environmentalists certainly won a big battle when the Obama administration reversed course earlier this year and nixed a proposal to allow offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. That flawed plan that would have risked tourism, fishing and other vital activities up and down the Eastern Seaboard. But it wasn’t the same thing as winning the war on fossil fuels. For all the progress that it has made on some [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , ,

The world not long ago marked the 5th anniversary of the Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan — an ongoing nuclear crisis that may not be cleaned up for decades, and even that may be optimistic. Lingering high radiation levels mean that swaths of northern Japan remain uninhabitable — unsafe to eat local food, breathe the air, or drink the water. To many, the 2011 Fukushima tragedy stands out as clear [...]

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Every day, a new reminder of the urgency of the world’s climate crisis — and, by logical extension, the 2016 elections here in the United States — shows up in my inbox or somewhere on the web. The streak of record monthly average world temperatures shows absolutely no sign of letting up. The hurricanes are coming earlier and growing stronger; the floods in places like Texas are more robust, and [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

It took a long time, but President Obama finally has many — not all, but many — aspects of U.S. environmental and energy policy moving in the right direction. Even with a U.S. Congress that is led by deniers of climate change, the Obama administration has been able to promulgate new rules to restrict greenhouse-gas pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants, and recently signed onto the Paris climate accord in [...]

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Elections matter. That was especially true last fall in Louisiana, when voters went to the polls to elect a replacement for the term-limited Gov. Bobby Jindal (who, if you’ll remember, had the audacity to be running for president at that time). It’s pretty hard to make a case that Jindal wasn’t one of the worst governors in the modern history of the state; Louisiana’s budget was left in shambles, and [...]

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Posted in Causes, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Recovery, Restoration Tagged , , , , ,

America’s drinking water is under assault — from careless dumping of hazardous wastes to the lead pollution caused by our ancient infrastructure. Yet rarely do these tales of governmental neglect or industrial abuses make it onto the national radar screen. The Flint, Michigan, lead pollution story was different — a “perfect storm” that combined race, the poisoning of countless children, and gross negligence on the part of the state government. [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

When it comes to climate, the latest news for my lifelong hometown of New Orleans is not very good at all. As many people know — and as Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed made quite clear in 2005 — much of the Crescent City sits below sea level, which is why the city’s levees and its other defense mechanisms such as flood pumping stations are so critical. When [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Regulation, Research Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Outside of the Gulf region, there hasn’t been a ton of publicity about Shell’s pipeline leak and oil spill off the coast of Louisiana that was revealed late last week. Maybe that’s the Deepwater Horizon Effect, since just six years after more than 4 million barrels of crude spewed into the Gulf, 88,000 gallons may sound like the proverbial drop in the bucket. The reality is very different, according to [...]

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