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Here’s more bad news for Louisiana seafood

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One of the first stories that I’ve covered since the very beginning of this blog is the threat to Louisiana seafood. It’s certainly an issue that I can relate to, as a New Orleans native who grew up eating the rich harvest from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. And needless to say, it was particularly heartbreaking in the early days to have to report in the early days of the BP Deepwater...

Fracking spills are worse than they want you to know

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One fact has remained pretty constant since the fracking boom in America began back in the 2000s: Almost any environmental problem has turned out to be worse than the oil-and-gas industry and government regulators want the public to know. When it comes to polluting the wells of people who live near fracking rigs, the industry clings to its story line that fracking can’t possibly pollute the...

Fukushima’s radiation would kill a person in 2 minutes

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Every month or two, I feel that it’s important to check in on the meltdown-ravaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima. It’s been nearly six years since a near “perfect storm” of bad events — a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami making a direct hit on the four-reactor power plant on the Japanese coast — caused the worst nuclear accident of the 21st Century...

How Louisiana missed a large oil spill

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One issue that’s come up repeatedly since I launched this website seven years ago has been the multiple failings of Louisiana’s state environmental regulators, especially when it comes to reining in the state’s powerful oil and natural gas interests. For decades, under both Republican and Democratic governors, the regulatory agencies in Baton Rouge haven’t been up to snuff...

Flooding of Atlantic coastal cities about to get a lot worse

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If you live near the Atlantic Ocean — and millions of Americans do, along the most densely populated stretch of the nation — then you know the coastal flooding is always in the background. When a big storm like a Nor’easter barrels its way up the Eastern Seaboard, cities from Miami Beach all the way up to Maine can expect some beach erosion and possibly a couple feet of water...

Hitting the Dakota Access pipeline where it hurts

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Things are stirring again with the Dakota Access pipeline. It was late last year, near the end of his term, when then-President Barack Obama handed a victory to activists seeking to block the opening of the $3.8 billion project. This is the pipeline which aims to ship fracked oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota across the U.S. Heartland to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast — and...

The news on nuclear power isn’t all good

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Over the course of the last few months, there’s been a run of good news on nuclear power. The state of America’s nuclear industry — both from an environmental and an economic standpoint — is weakening; many of the nation’s reactors are at least four decades old with increasing repair problems, and a number are sited in the worst possible locations, near major...

On pipeline day, Canada spill shows danger

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Pipelines were the big national news story today. In Washington, President Trump — fulfilling his campaign promises on the fourth full day of his administration — signed two executive orders intended to re-start two major, stalled projects: The Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline. Both projects had been stopped during the presidency of Barack Obama, and with good...

Even $50 billion won’t bring back all of Louisiana’s lost wetlands

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There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the effort to restore the massive amount of coastal wetlands — some 1,800 square miles, or one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island — that Louisiana has lost over the last 85 years, roughly around the same time period that Big Oil has been doing its business in the state. Aside from the loss of so much biodiversity in a state...

‘Putting a wrench into the gears of the pipeline machine’

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The movement against dangerous oil and natural gas pipelines is spreading. And what’s truly remarkable is that the epicenter of the movement is developing along the Gulf Coast, a region that historically has not been known for a strong environmental community. Clearly, the catalyst for that movement has been the historic protests — led by the Native American community — against...

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

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