Category Archives: Regulation

As I sit down to write this, President Obama is preparing to deliver his final State of the Union address to the American people. Over the last seven years, the speech has been something of a mixed bag when it comes to the all-important issue of climate change. On a few occasions, the president has been practically poetic when it comes to the need for Americans to take seriously the [...]

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

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 ExxonMobil, would chose a dishonest policy of lying about its [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Politics, Regulation, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

They swore it would never happen again. For 87 days, the oil from the damaged Deepwater Horizon rig spewed into the environmentally sensitive Gulf of Mexico — and neither BP nor the federal government seemed to have any power to shut it off. There were times in the spring and summer of 2010 when it seemed like the damage to waters off Louisiana and to the coastline would never stop. [...]

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

Something truly remarkable is happening in the American South. The states that I’m talking about are so-called “red states” — some of the most politically conservative geography in these United States. They are places with Republican governors and mostly Republican state legislatures, where environmental regulations are typically scorned and policy on oil exploration has been typically defined by the phrase, “Drill, baby, drill.” Indeed, just a few short years ago, [...]

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

Over the course of a career as an environmental lawyer, with a focus on energy-related issues, I’ve seen a lot of changes. There have been oil booms and oil busts, especially in my home state of Louisiana. Coal, nuclear, natural gas have fallen out of favor, only to come back and then in some cases fall out of favor again. Some elected officials take a slightly more active approach in [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , ,

A season of upbeat news about humankind’s struggles to combat climate change and to turn the tide on our addiction to fossil fuels reached its crescendo this past weekend. That’s when the world’s leaders — 195 of them — signed off on a landmark agreement to curb greenhouse gas pollution. Some critics say that the plan — which aims to limit the rise in global temperatures from 1.5 to 2 [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Regulation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , ,

California is a behemoth. America’s largest state is also larger than a number of the world’s nations, and — thanks to powerhouses like Hollywood and Silicon Valley — usually ranked as one of the Top 10 economies on the planet. That means California has its own foreign policy, and that it often grapples with nation-sized issues…like combating climate change. In fact, the Golden State has an admirable record of adopting [...]

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Posted in Causes, Fracking, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

For the world’s largest oil-drilling giant, ExxonMobil has a unique problem. It seems incapable of finding the absolute rock bottom — at least when it comes to its own moral compass. Just recently, I was writing here about the damning new evidence that top company executives knew as early as the late 1970s that fossil fuels would have a destructive impact on the world’s climate, and that after a brief [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

Like most federal regulatory agencies, especially in fields such as energy and the environment, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, tends to be a toothless tiger. It’s quick to side with the interests of large corporations and against those of the public that it is supposed to serve. But even by the NRC’s historically weak standards, the agency is moving down a very disturbing path these days — killing a [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Radiation, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , , ,

In 2010, I was part of an alliance of environmentalists and others who pleaded with the federal government to work with BP in ending the widespread use of the toxic chemical called Corexit. This dangerous substance was being sprayed, in large quantities, to make the crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe disappear. It seemed clear from Day One that simply spraying another poisonous chemical on top of the more [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Research, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , ,