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A small Louisiana town is fighting pollution — and winning

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I’ve written a lot over the last decade about Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,” the stretch along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge down past New Orleans that’s practically wall-to-wall with the bright red flares and shiny steel tangled guts of chemical plants and oil refineries that exploit the rich natural resources of my native state. The non-stop pollution of the air and water that led to the...

The new book that says everything you know about radiation is wrong

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The recent release and popularity of the HBO series Chernobyl reminded its several million viewers — regular folks — of something that many experts have been worried about for decades: That the nuclear-industrial complex that’s been mining uranium since the middle of the 20th Century to make both atomic bombs and atomic energy is increasingly a hazard to human health. Many people have...

The world is realizing that Jeff Bezos has lost control of Amazon

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These have been tough times for the world’s formerly richest man — Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos — and it has nothing to do with his divorce settlement that cost him a whopping $38 billion payout to his ex-wife McKenzie Bezos. I don’t care about Bezos’ private life and neither should you, but have you noticed that his public company is falling apart? Consumers, warehouse workers...

Radiation fears rock southern Ohio: ‘If you have half a thyroid, you’re doing good’

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First came the shock and the anger that the federal government had known about radioactive pollution at a middle school attended by their children and told no one for two years. But now the residents of Pike County, Ohio, are beginning to take stock of the possible impact that contamination from the government’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant has had on the health of their community, and they...

Trump’s DOE places a ticking nuclear time bomb at Hanford Site

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Calling the 177 containers at the Hanford Nuclear Site in south-central Washington state that contain high-level radioactive waste “tanks” is not a very good description. Each of these so-called “tanks” — buried in a kind of a farm of well-manicured dirt — is roughly the size of a four-story apartment building. Collectively, the 177 containers hold about 56 million gallons of some of...

Obama throws down the gauntlet on Arctic, Atlantic drilling

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The Obama administration had already telegraphed that it was likely to impose what amounts to a ban on oil-and-natural-gas drilling off the Atlantic coastline and also in the Arctic waters near Alaska. At a moment when the world is looking to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels, neither the plan to expand drilling in the seafood-laden waters off the tourist beaches of the American South nor the...

Newest reminder that fracking is hazardous to your health

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The news this week, not surprisingly, is dominated by the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. If their Ohio confab is anything like past GOP conventions, America is likely to hear a full-throated endorsement of any and all things having to do with the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Indeed, it was at past Republican conventions that viewers first heard the initial chants, led by...

The real costs of expanding offshore drilling

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Environmentalists certainly won a big battle when the Obama administration reversed course earlier this year and nixed a proposal to allow offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. That flawed plan that would have risked tourism, fishing and other vital activities up and down the Eastern Seaboard. But it wasn’t the same thing as winning the war on fossil fuels. For all the progress that...

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