Category Archives: Commentary

There was a brief scare earlier this week from the part of the world that gave us the Chernobyl nuclear disaster nearly 30 years ago, In the Ukraine, a strife-torn nation where good information is often in short supply, officials announced there had been an accident at one of the country’s nuclear power plants. It was only later that more information emerged that, at least according to the government, there [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Main, Nuclear disaster, Politics, Radiation, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of news on the environmental front this week, most of it concerning the intersection between our fragile ecology and our broken politics. Word that the Republican Party re-took control of the U.S. Senate and amped up its big majority in the House of Representatives has also led to increased speculation that the GOP’s No. 1 priority will be a crusade against environmental protections. On every issue [...]

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

BP, with a huge assist from the popular Beltway-insider website Politico, stirred up the muddy waters of the Deepwater Horizon spill aftermath this week when it published a corporate-love-letter-disguised-as-news entitled, “No, BP Didn’t Ruin the Gulf.” Anyone expecting humility from a firm whose court-certified wanton negligence killed 11 people and seriously polluted America’s most precious natural resource clearly hasn’t followed the story lately. The story hit the Internet Wednesday morning [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Press Releases, Recovery, Restoration, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

My first big environmental battle was against Chevron. It happened more than two decades ago inside a federal courtroom in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I was representing a machine-shop owner and his employees who’d been poisoned by the radioactive residue inside the pipes they were cleaning for Chevron and other Big Oil clients. Chevron had all the money and resources on its side,┬ábut it didn’t have the one thing it needed [...]

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

In the field of environmental science, it’s always important to evaluate risk. In other words, do we tolerate a certain level of risk if the alternative is a wider ecological catastrophe? Over the last decade or two, for example, scientists have debated whether nuclear power plants — despite the danger of a major accident and release of radiation, as happened in Japan in 2011 — are still a better option [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Main, Research Tagged , , , , , , ,

It was gratifying to see that the editorial board of the New Orleans Times-Picayune has picked up on the issue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its treachery against the small- and mid-sized business owners of the Gulf Coast. As you’ll recall, last week we spotlighted how the inside-the-Beltway-based national Chamber — which receives the bulk of its support and is increasingly fixated on the needs of the top [...]

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

It’s hard to imagine how the news about fracking could get any worse. On any given day, my news feed is filled with reports from all across America, and sometimes from outside our borders, about the unintended environmental consequences of this extreme method of extracting natural gas from the shale formations under the earth. Just today, there was yet another report of an earthquake in Oklahoma — where seismic activity [...]

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

There’s been a lot of talk in recent weeks about how Big Oil uses public relations, or PR, to achieve its political goals and try to steamroll its environmental opponents. One such episode played out recently in an unusually public fashion, as Politico, the website that’s popular with Beltway insiders, ran what amounted to a free ad for BP (not so coincidentally, one of its own advertisers) in the form [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Investigations, Main, Politics Tagged , , , , , , ,

One of the major themes I’ve been writing about frequently in the last year is the rising environmental movement in Louisiana. To be clear, my home state already boasted some fierce fighters for environmental justice, like Marylee Orr and her Louisiana Environmental Action Network, or the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, doing battle with dirty chemical plants. But the shock of recent events such as the BP oil spill and the Bayou [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Legal, Louisiana Sinkhole, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , ,

Talk about a contrast: This weekend, I told you about a speech in New Orleans before America’s top environment journalists that was delivered by Geoff Morrell, the former Pentagon flack turned public relations “expert” for BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon fiasco. I mentioned that Morrell stunned the reporters in the audience by blaming the aura of bad publicity surrounding the British oil giant on them, and not [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , , , ,