Category Archives: Important Articles

I’m very grateful to writer Mark Hand and the popular website CounterPunch for reviewing Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America. I thought Mark’s piece really captured the essence of the book. Here’s an excerpt: Early in his career, Smith said he learned that big oil and gas companies operated in a system that valued profits [...]

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

The relentless spin doctors at BP headquarters apparently don’t agree with me, but I think it’s time to close the book on the supposed debate over whether the massive 2010 BP oil spill was lethal to large numbers of dolphins. The evidence — first merely anecdotal, later more scientific — that dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico were getting sick and dying prematurely because of exposure to crude oil started [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Research, Wildlife Tagged , , , , ,

Here we go again. It was a large oil spill in the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara in 1969 — and the pictures of oiled birds and marine wildlife — that shocked the nation, led to bans and restrictions on offshore oil drilling in California and elsewhere, and created the momentum for the very first Earth Day celebration and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, both in 1970. [...]

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

New Orleans has been through a lot of political and physical upheaval since 2005 and the days after Hurricane Katrina. But there is much that hasn’t changed at all. Because so much of our city—nearly 80 percent—was harmed by the levee breaks following Katrina, it made sense to give the updating of the City Zoning Ordinance and the attendant Master Plan a lot of attention since the storm. And to [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Politics Tagged , , , , , ,

There are a few places that have really come to symbolize the folly that has been nuclear power in America in the decades since World War II. One of the more famous ones is the San Onofre plant in Southern California, built next to the Pacific Ocean and perilously close to a major fault line, in one of the nation’s more populated corners. What could go wrong? But then, poorly [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Oil Spill Facts, Radiation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

When is the government ever going to get it right on regulating those mile-long oil trains that are criss-crossing America these days, thanks to the fracking boom? You know the ones — the trains that activists call “oil bombs” because so many of them have exploded in the last two years, causing mass fatalities in Quebec and scaring the bejesus out of citizens from North Dakota to Alabama and everywhere [...]

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

From time to time, I’ve been honored to use this blog to highlight the work of a colleague and a tireless crusader for the environment, Bonny Schumaker. A former NASA engineer and a pilot, Bonny began to focus on the Gulf in the days immediately following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, and her aerial photography has brought the public information about not just the BP oil spill but about other [...]

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Posted in Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Response Tagged , , , , , ,

The jury shouldn’t be out anymore on Corexit, the toxic dispersant that was massively dumped on the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill in 2010. Many of us had concerns almost from Day One, with reports from clean-up workers of headaches and nausea. Despite our campaign to convince the government to prevent BP from dumping more toxins on top of its gigantic oil spill, the feds ultimately allowed [...]

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

Today, on the actual 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, I published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, voicing my dismay not only at the current state of the Gulf of Mexico but over the complete failure to take the necessary steps to make sure this never happens again. Here’s an excerpt: The Obama administration, for its part, has been a lot more aggressive about awarding new leases [...]

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

Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that triggered an environmental calamity in the Gulf of Mexico. For many of us the region, it’s an anniversary tinged with vivid and painful memories. As I recount in my new book, Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Assault on America, we were in the skies over [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Response, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,