Category Archives: Commentary

I’m very grateful for this review in the Advocate of my new book, Crude Justice: How In Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America. You can read the review here. © Smith Stag, LLC 2015 – All Rights Reserved

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts Tagged , ,

My feelings about BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe have been consistent from Day One. Working closely with dedicated environmentalists from Louisiana and elsewhere, we have never fully trusted the oil giant’s public version of events. We have fought for safety and protection of workers and wildlife — ever skeptical of early reports that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico was safe to eat or that beaches were free [...]

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

ExxonMobil is arguably the world’s most powerful corporation, with annual revenues greater than many developing nations and a penchant for CIA-grade secrecy. It’s headquartered in a fortress-style building just outside of Dallas that some employees jokingly call “the Death Star.” But if you remember “Star Wars,” you know that even “the Death Star” had a tiny flaw, one that young Luke Skywalker could exploit — with dramatic consequences. In other [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Politics, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

It doesn’t happen every day, but environmentalists got a rare dollop of good news this week. For months, supporters had been urging the president to veto any bill from the Republican-led Congress that would seek to mandate the Keystone XL pipeline, the project that would carry millions of barrels of dirty Canadian tar sands oil across the American heartland to facilities on the Gulf Coast. It’s a proposal that would [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Last week, it was my honor to fly to Los Angeles to sit down for an interview with PBS’ Tavis Smiley for his nationwide late night show, to discuss my new book Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America. It was a fast-moving conversation that touched a lot of ground, including my early cases over radioactive [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Feature Video, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

I continue to be flattered by the good notices and coverage of my new book, Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America. This week, an environmental activist and writer that I’ve known for years, Jerry Cope, interviewed me for the Huffington Post, and we talked about the book — and how Big Oil’s ever-growing political influence has allowed the energy giants [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

It’s something of a mixed blessing working as an environmental attorney in Louisiana. On one hand, the power and prevalence of the state’s oil refineries, offshore drilling and chemical plants means that there’s no shortage of environmental cases to handle. On the other hand, it’s been simply heartbreaking to watch what the rise of locals call “Cancer Alley” — stretching from Baton Rouge all the way down the Mississippi River to [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

President Obama’s State of the Union address — and the Republican response — certainly shed a fair amount of light on the state of the environment in 2015. The president, for his part, made a passionate plea for putting climate change at the very top of the nation’s political agenda, although I would have like to have heard more specifics about how the Obama administration will move the nation toward [...]

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

The story of my new book — Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America — begins with a phone call. Sometimes one call can change your life – maybe even change the world a little bit. In 1989, I was a young lawyer just a few years out of Loyola Law School. I’d already left one [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

This is a week that many of us who care about protecting the environment have been dreading. The new 114th Congress takes over today, with Republicans now controlling both houses for the first time since the middle of the George W. Bush era. And — whatever the GOP pretended to stand for during the fall campaign — Republicans have now made it clear that their No. 1 priority will be [...]

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