CategoryLegal

It wasn’t just Exxon that said one thing on global warming and did something else

I

The story broke last year, and it quickly became the environmental scandal of the decade: Evidence that the world’s largest oil company knew for decades that climate change — driven largely by fossil-fuel pollution — would cause catastrophic damage to Planet Earth if left unchecked. It seemed almost too cynical to believe that Exxon Corp., the massive forerunner to today’s...

A new threat from rowdyism: Airbnb party houses

A

From time to time, I write here about the issue of noise and rowdy behavior, and how it affects residential neighborhoods in some of our great American cities — particularly in my hometown of New Orleans.  My native city has always been known as a place to have a good time, and our great music spots and some of our classic bars and nightclubs remain a civic treasure. But — as noted...

The BP settlement isn’t good enough for Plaquemines Parish

T

I’ve long said that no likely BP settlement would ever be enough for the damage that its 2010 oil spill caused to the Gulf region. Mostly, that’s a moral argument: The purpose of punitive damages is that a company must be shown that the cost of doing bad is more than doing good — but that’s hard to do when an oil company’s typically reckless drilling and production...

More evidence that BP got off too easily

M

Last week I wrote here that BP’s $54 billion payout for damages and restoration from the 2010 Gulf oil spill just wasn’t really enough — both because of the ongoing environmental damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil that continues to wash up on our beaches and because dollars trumped real accountability. You won’t hear that critique too much from public officials, who are...

BP can never pay enough for what it’s done

B

If anything has the ability to cut through the clutter in our 24/7 frenetic news cycle, it’s Wall Street. Say what you will about the capital markets, but the way that investors react to important news is a pretty good reality check. This week, there was a major development in the quest for just compensation for the 2010 BP oil spill, the ongoing crisis that sparked the creation of this...

The Supreme Court’s mercury poisoning

T

There’s been a lot of excitement about the U.S. Supreme Court as it wrapped up its 2014-15 session, and understandably so. On Friday, many people took to the streets in celebration when the High Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. In fact, that ruling was held up as a sign that the nine justices were, as a whole, becoming more liberal — building upon two...

“Bypassing Big Oil’s Alliance With Government”

&

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...

New Orleans needs to hit the brakes on proposed zoning amendments

N

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...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC