BP must have a death wish


A couple of days ago I wrote about a new low for BP: Allegations that officials with the British oil giant or its massive PR firm Ogilvy & Mather may have been aware of an online social media smear campaign. The harassment targeted regular citizens who dared to criticize the company that — in case you’ve somehow forgotten — caused the death of 11 workers and spewed 5 million...

How BP poisoned 170,000 Gulf cleanup workers


The most misunderstood — and arguably the most tragic — outcome of the 2010 BP oil spill is the very serious risk to an estimated 170,000 citizens who had some role in cleaning up the environmental disaster. A veritable army of civilians — some hired though BP, but many of them volunteers worried about the impact of some 5 million barrels of crude oil on the Gulf and its...

NYT columnist doubles down on the pro-BP stupid


New York Times columnist Joe Nocera won’t back down. Even though his past columns defending corporate polluter BP and its wanton recklessness and portraying Gulf Coast residents seeking justice as greedy fraudsters have been mocked and ridiculed in  many quarters, he was back on the case this week. Nocera seems to live an alternate universe where BP is the upstanding citizen and not the...

Massive La. tar mat demolishes claim that Gulf is back to normal


When it comes to the 2010 BP oil spill, I’m beginning to think that Louisiana is becoming some bizarro-world where up is down and left is right. The more that BP and the federal government insist that the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is over and that everything is back to A-OK normal in the Gulf of Mexico, the more that dramatic new evidence of environmental destruction...

The people of ‘Cancer Alley’ are fighting back


Suddenly, chemical plants in Louisiana were in the news last week. That’s understandable — two explosions on back-to-back days in Geismar and Donaldsonville in the very heart of “Cancer Alley” not only killed three people and sent others to the hospital but made for dramatic television, as smoke billowed into the bayou air as if set off by a massive bomb (and there was a...

Sinkhole grows and threatens Bayou Corne


Last weekend Bonny Schumaker from On Wings of Care — a tireless advocate who’s been our not-so-secret weapon in the war for salvation of the ecology of the Gulf Coast — went up in the skies over Bayou Corne, the small Louisiana town that’s been ravaged by a sinkhole caused by a collapsing sinkhole, an epic tale of neglect. The latest news from there is not good. The...

RFK Jr: “I think BP are getting off lightly”


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a revered name in environmental circles, and for good reason. As the son of an iconic, martyred U.S. senator and presidential candidate, and the nephew of the late 35th president, RFK Jr. could have surely coasted through life on the Kennedy family name. But instead, he has lived as a tireless crusader for a better planet, including a cleaner Gulf of Mexico. So when...

Boo hoo — BP sheds crocodile tears as it seeks to duck responsibility for the Gulf


Every so often, I worry that I’ve lost my capacity to feel anger and outrage over the oily monster that is British Petroleum — but if there’s one thing that BP is very good at, it’s fueling…rage. Here on the Gulf Coast, we’ve been fighting for three years to make sure that BP — a massive multinational corporation that makes billions of dollars in profit...

Noose tightens around NALCO’s neck as more damning info on BP, Corexit surfaces


Is a little-seen academic paper the smoking gun that blows the lid off the growing Corexit scandal in the Gulf of Mexico? You’ll recall that Corexit is the brand name of the oil dispersant manufactured by Illinois-based Nalco and deployed heavily by BP in the first couple of months of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon spill. In fact, with the acquiesence of the federal government, the oil...

How 25 whistleblowers blew the lid off BP’s Corexit scandal


It’s hard to keep secret. But it’s really hard to keep a secret when hundreds, if not thousands, of American citizens have been sickened from exposure to a highly toxic chemical — even when it’s one of the world’s richest oil companies and people inside the U.S. government that are trying to pull off the cover-up. That’s the sad situation that is unfolding here...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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