Category Archives: Human Interest

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 , , , , ,

One of the reasons that I wanted to tell the story that is my new book — Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America — is to show that there’s only one way to fight the energy giants, and that’s in a courtroom, before a jury of 12 regular citizens. And there’s a reason for that. There [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Politics, Regulation 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 , , , , , , , , ,

Remember a few weeks ago, when I wrote about earthquakes in Irving, Texas — a stone’s throw from the headquarters of the world’s largest energy company, ExxonMobil? I thought the irony was huge: Texas is just one corner of America where earthquakes had once been rare but are now commonplace — coinciding with the rise of fracking in those regions. Here’s the thing: The problem is now getting worse. This [...]

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

I’m worried, frankly, about the long-term effect of the steep drop in the price of oil. Lower prices at the pump – some places are registering under $2 a gallon for the first time in years – could cause rising fuel consumption, especially if motorists in America and elsewhere are tempted to buy SUVs and other less-fuel-efficient vehicles. That, of course, will lead to more greenhouse-gas emissions, worsening the impact [...]

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

I’ve noted several times over the last year that the tide is turning against fracking for oil and natural gas. The general public has increasingly decided that the often overhyped claims from Big Oil and Gas about job creation aren’t worth the costs to the environment in terms of foul air and polluted water — not to mention an increased risk of earthquakes. This November, even the citizens of Denton, [...]

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

There’s a lot of things about dealing with BP regarding the Gulf oil spill and its aftermath, which has cast its pall over the region for the last four-and-a-half years, that make you want to pull your hair out. But nothing has been as agonizing as the company’s bitter treatment of thousands of clean-up workers who took to the Gulf in an effort to rescue birds and turtles, and to scoop up [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Claims, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Safety, Spill Damages, Victim Claims Tagged , , , , , ,

One thing has become increasingly clear over the last decade: Earthquakes in America aren’t just for California anymore. Regions that were long considered seismically stable — especially in the prairie regions of the American Southwest, but also far-flung areas such as Ohio — have been rocked by a series of tremors. These new waves of earthquakes can cause structural damage to homes and rattle the nerves of the people who [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Regulation, Research, 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 , , , , ,

I’ve said here repeatedly that the American people are slowly but steadily catching on to the risks of fracking, and they are making their voices heard. Increasingly, citizens are looking at the supposed benefits of gas drilling in their communities — royalty checks for some, perhaps cheaper has prices — and then looking at life with tainted air and dirty tap water, and concluding that it’s just not worth it. [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , , ,