Category Archives: Commentary

The movement against dangerous oil and natural gas pipelines is spreading. And what’s truly remarkable is that the epicenter of the movement is developing along the Gulf Coast, a region that historically has not been known for a strong environmental community. Clearly, the catalyst for that movement has been the historic protests — led by the Native American community — against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Bakken oil field [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , ,

For most of the last eight decades or so that Big Oil’s had its way with the state of Louisiana, it was rare — unheard of, really — for local residents to oppose an energy-related project. For most folks, environmentalism — opposing new drilling or unsightly pipelines in your backyard — was something that maybe “the Yankees” did, but not Louisianans. And the main reason was a simple four-letter word: [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

A few months ago, I told you about the latest public health crisis in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” — the strip of heavily polluting refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities that line the banks of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge all the way down past New Orleans. Many of the most threatened community are predominantly poor and predominantly black — lacking much in the way of political clout to [...]

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It was just a year and a half ago that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came out with its first draft of a much-anticipated report about the impact that the boom in hydraulic fracking operations, or fracking, around the country was having on our drinking water. Environmentalists had encouraged such a study because the anecdotal evidence — people living near fracking rigs who suddenly drew brackish or discolored water, and [...]

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

There was some very good news this week on the environmental front, for a change. At a moment when things looked darkest for the stirring protest movement against the Dakota Access pipeline — with a brutal winter bearing down on the rural North Dakota protest site and authorities threatening to clear out their encampment — there was a dramatic reversal of fortune. Army officials stepped in to block completion of [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

One of the more fantastic experiences that I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime was an opportunity, several years ago, to scuba dive along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This is truly one of the world’s great natural splendors; it is the largest living thing on Planet Earth, stretching some 900 miles, and it is also much larger than anything that humans have ever constructed. Chock full of colorful marine life, surrounded by [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Response, Safety, Wildlife Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Thanksgiving is a day for spending time with family and friends, but also a time to remember some of the simple moral values that make America the nation that it is — or at least that it can be. The elegant origin story of the holiday is a tale of unity and overcoming differences, when the first European settlers in America and Native Americans combined the bounty of their harvests [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

More than a week into the transition into Donald Trump’s presidential administration, we don’t know which of his campaign promises he will actually keep, and which ones will be tossed out the window. On the environment, we know that he’s getting his advice from some dangerous people, including the climate-change denier Myron Ebell, who’s been tapped to help fill top jobs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s a terrible [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , ,

For the last few months, I’ve written at least a half dozen posts about the massive environmental catastrophe that awaits America and the world if Donald Trump were to be elected president. Clearly, not enough voters were focused on these issues when they pulled the lever on Tuesday. Now, barring the unexpected, Trump will be the president of the United States from January 2017 to January 2021. During those four [...]

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

It’s been going on for decades — poor towns in the Deep South, often with a predominantly black population — getting dumped on, whether it’s by Big Oil or by chemical plants or by toxic-waste disposal firms. Many of my earliest cases as an environmental lawyer were in these off-the-beaten track places such as Brookhaven, Mississippi or Martha, Kentucky, where oil companies littered properties with radioactive dust or dumped hazardous [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,