Category Archives: Investigations

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 , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , ,

They promised us it was going to be different the next time. What else could they say after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe four years ago, when 11 people lost their lives and so much crude oil spewed forth into the Gulf. The BP oil spill was, first and foremost, a failure of corporate responsibility, with a culture that was geared toward cutting costs and maximizing profits, not toward dealing with [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Recovery, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

With America about to make a big decision on the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, let’s revisit yet another recent major oil transportation fiasco, this time in my home state of Louisiana. As I mentioned here recently, Sunoco — the oil giant that is betting heavily on building new pipelines to accommodate America’s surge in oil and natural gas production — had to own up to a pipeline accident [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , ,

Fracking has caused a lot of Americans to focus on the alarming environmental practices of the U.S. oil and gas industry, and that’s perfectly understandable. For one thing, the term “fracking” is still new and  scary sounding to some, and perhaps funny sounding to others. Perhaps more importantly, the boom in unconventional gas drilling has come to a lot of parts of the country, such as Pennsylvania and (potentially) parts of [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

This weekend, the New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy — and rather remarkable — look at what happened when a New Orleans levee board decided to take seriously its mission of restoring the Louisiana environment to its original health. If you’ve been reading this blog, the story of New Orleans historian John Barry, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (also known as Slfpa-E), and Big Oil’s effort to quash its [...]

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Posted in Causes, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Restoration 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 , , , , , , ,

Over the last year or so, an increasing number of articles have appeared — in widely read publications like Newsweek or the Guardian — bemoaning the sorry environmental state of the Gulf, more than four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill. To me, there’s no more important issue than this — it’s the very reason that I started this blog not long after the spill, so that people would know [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Research Tagged , , , , ,

A lot of folks in Louisiana are talking today — the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall — about a major investigation by the New Orleans-based website, The Lens, and the award-winning investigative-reporting outfit, ProPublica, looking at the dramatic loss of wetlands in my native state. Perhaps the most jaw-dropping element of the project is an interactive map that chronicles exactly how much wetland has become open sea since 1922. [...]

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Posted in Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Restoration Tagged , , , , , , , ,