Category Archives: Causes

It was seven years ago yesterday that BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and triggering an environmental catastrophe that in many ways has continued to this day. It is a moment I will never forget: I was in a small plane flying over the Gulf that next morning, watching the thick black plume of smoke with a mixture of shock and alarm. That soon [...]

Read More »
Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Recovery, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The big, potentially positive story in Louisiana environmental circles has been the push to restore the state’s depleted wetlands. It had become increasingly clear that something had gone terribly wrong in the Bayou State, where the swamps define a way of life — and also perform a very important role. These reedy marshes — as regular readers know well by now — are Louisiana’s natural defense barrier. But they’ve been [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Research, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

Restoring wetlands is certainly an expensive proposition. Even with monies available from sources such as the massive settlement that BP reached with Louisiana, the federal government and other Gulf states over the Deepwater Horizon spill, officials struggle to come up with all the funds needed to replenish coastline and bring back to life marshes and bayous that have been destroyed by energy exploration or damaged by pollution or other activities. [...]

Read More »
Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Research, Restoration Tagged , , , , ,

Late last year, I told you about the dire situation in the small, mostly black and underprivileged Louisiana community of St. Joseph. For years, residents had complained about the brackish and discolored water that flowed from their tap. But a largely unresponsive City Hall ignored those complaints, as did mostly unaware state and federal regulators. When the city water was finally tested in 2016, officials found shockingly high levels of [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The book that triggered the environmental movement in America was Silent Spring, published by Rachel Carson in 1962. The subject of the book was the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT — which was banned by the federal government a few years later, in part a result of the outcry that Carson had raised. The title refers to the fact that flagrant abuse of these chemicals was killing not [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

It wasn’t that long ago when the issue of water pollution in West Virginia was front-page national news. You may remember the incident that happened just over three years ago, in January 2014, involving a company called Freedom Industries. To paraphrase the old Janice Joplin song, “freedom” was just another word, in this case, for corporate neglect. A holding tank filled with crude¬†4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, a highly toxic chemical used to wash [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , ,

One of the first stories that I’ve covered since the very beginning of this blog is the threat to Louisiana seafood. It’s certainly an issue that I can relate to, as a New Orleans native who grew up eating the rich harvest from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. And needless to say, it was particularly heartbreaking in the early days to have to report in the early days of the [...]

Read More »
Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

One fact has remained pretty constant since the fracking boom in America began back in the 2000s: Almost any environmental problem has turned out to be worse than the oil-and-gas industry and government regulators want the public to know. When it comes to polluting the wells of people who live near fracking rigs, the industry clings to its story line that fracking can’t possibly pollute the water table — trying [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Research, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , ,

Every month or two, I feel that it’s important to check in on the meltdown-ravaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima. It’s been nearly six years since a near “perfect storm” of bad events — a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami making a direct hit on the four-reactor power plant on the Japanese coast — caused the worst nuclear accident of the 21st Century. That’s a long time, and yet it’s [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Radiation, Response, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

One issue that’s come up repeatedly since I launched this website seven years ago has been the multiple failings of Louisiana’s state environmental regulators, especially when it comes to reining in the state’s powerful oil and natural gas interests. For decades, under both Republican and Democratic governors, the regulatory agencies in Baton Rouge haven’t been up to snuff. Sometimes the problem appeared to be a lack of interest in aggressively [...]

Read More »
Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,