Category Archives: Politics

The fight over fracking has entered a new and alarming phase. After the initial shock of the boom in unconventional gas drilling, citizens in environmentally ravaged communities have been fighting back and claiming victories. But Big Oil and their colluders — the big money politicians — don’t put up with this sort of thing for very long. I learned this a generation ago, after I and other lawyers started winning [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Human Interest, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , , ,

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 , , , , , , ,

Everyone knows that drilling offshore for oil in the unforgiving waters of the Arctic is a fool’s errand. Three summers ago, Shell’s initial foray into this extreme quest for crude oil was an unmitigated disaster, ending with the bizarre yet tragically predictable saga of its oil rig the Kulluk breaking loose and slamming into the rocky coastline of Alaska. Now, Shell has been making plans to try drilling in the [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, 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 , , , , , ,

The Canadian province of Alberta is a pretty conservative place, or at least it used to be. Political analysts who follow developments there say it’s been comparable in the recent past to America’s so-called “red states” — somewhat similar to Idaho, with which it shares a border. But now — in the wake of an election that was held on Tuesday — the conservative party that’s held sway for more [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Main, Politics, Response, Safety 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 , , , , , , , , , ,

If you looked in the dictionary to define the word “denial,” there’s a pretty darn chance you’d find a picture of the BP logo right next to the entry. For nearly five years, the British oil giant has managed to maintain a state of practically blissful unawareness about why it’s massive Deepwater Horizon rig exploded with lethal force, how much oil was really spewing forth from the damaged wellhead, the [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Human Interest, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation Tagged , , , , , ,

President Obama gave an extensive interview late last week to the Huffington Post, and to the president’s credit he brought up one of the most pressing problems facing America and mankind: Climate change. Increasingly, the Obama White House has taken a tougher stance on the issue, insisting that the administration is willing to act to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change — with or without support [...]

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

My feelings about BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe have been consistent from Day One. Working closely with dedicated environmentalists from Louisiana and elsewhere, we have never fully trusted the oil giant’s public version of events. We have fought for safety and protection of workers and wildlife — ever skeptical of early reports that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico was safe to eat or that beaches were free [...]

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