Category Archives: Commentary

On April 15, 2014, with the fourth anniversary of the massive Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just days away, British Petroleum – the rig’s operator — issued a press release that caught many people off-guard. BP announced that its “active cleanup” of oil pollution in the Gulf had officially ended. The statement by the British energy giant did not say that the spilled [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Important Articles, Investigations, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Restoration, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s not surprising that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has served as a handmaiden for the oil-and-gas industry during his six-and-a-half years in Baton Rouge. For one thing, it’s in keeping with the pro-business-at-any-cost, environment-be-damned-philosophy of today’s Republican Party. What’s more, Jindal has been on the receiving end of more than $1 million in campaign contributions from Big Oil, according to some recent research by environmental groups (a figure that strikes [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Important Articles, Investigations, Legacy Lawsuits, Legal, Main, Ocean Life, Politics Tagged , , , , ,

This weekend, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had a clear choice. He could follow the advice of the state’s attorney general — his fellow Republican Buddy Caldwell — and many other legal scholars. That would mean vetoing a poorly drafted, ill-thought-out measure that came about from Big Oil’s desperation to block legal action that would force it to pay millions to restore the state’s battered wetlands. Or the governor could sign [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Legacy Lawsuits, Legal, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Restoration Tagged , , , , , , ,

Elections have consequences. Take North Carolina, a state that has always seemed of two minds, politically. For the most part, the Tarheel State mirrors its Southern neighbors — heavily rural, conservative, and clinging to its traditions. But there is also a progressive bent in North Carolina, especially as more and more outsiders move to the state for its top-flight universities and for its high-tech, R&D jobs. That’s meant a string [...]

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

There’s been a lot of talk recently on environmental websites and in the news media about which is a riskier way to transport oil and natural gas to market: Through pipelines or in rail tanker cars. Of course, that’s something of a trick question because the real answer is: Neither. On the pipeline front, there are many reasons to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from [...]

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

Sometimes it’s a struggle to find the kernel of good news amid the morass that is our corrupted political system, especially in my home state of Louisiana. Earlier this year, I told you about the big reactionary push in Baton Rouge, by the oil giants against the state’s up-and-coming environmental movement. The Republican pro-business majority, with control of the legislature and with a friend in the governor’s mansion in Bobby [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Legacy Lawsuits, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Earlier this week, I told you how the most important story regarding BP and the Gulf of Mexico — its ongoing degradation of that precious natural resource, from the tar balls that assault our beaches on a daily basis to depleted fish stocks — is getting lost on the BP-manufactured controversy over claims by victims of the 2010 oil spill. BP’s belly-aching reached its largest audience ever on Sunday night, [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Spill Damages, Victim Claims Tagged , , , , ,

Over this Easter weekend, I had a chance to absorb quite a bit of coverage of what’s happened in the Gulf of Mexico in the four years since BP’s massive Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. I had a couple of thoughts. One was that with the passage of time, the news coverage of the BP anniversary has actually seemed to increase over last year. It’s good that the news media — [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Response, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , , ,

On one hand, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to enter the dispute over the BP’s multi-billion dollar settlement with residents and small business owners on the Gulf Coast, or that it wants to enter on the side of the Big Oil giant. While the name “Chamber of Commerce” may invoke bucolic images of a 20th Century Main Street, with its hardware store [...]

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

There are many, many arguments to be made against the process of hydraulic fracturing. Fracking is usurping billions of gallons of water in a time of drought, its main disposal method for wastewater has been linked to earthquakes, its rigs spew toxic air pollution as well as methane, which contributes greatly to global warming. That’s in addition to polluting local wells and the occasional explosions or large-scale spills, as well as the [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Main, Politics, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,