I’ve written on this site about problems in what the locals in Louisiana call “Cancer Alley” — the massive petrochemical facilities that mostly line the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. For decades, this industrialized corridor has reflected the push and the pull between Louisiana’s desperate need for well-paying blue-collar jobs and corporations who exploit the state’s rich natural resources with little or no concern for the environment. [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Response, Safety, Testing Tagged , , , , , ,

From time to time, I’ve written here about Donald Trump’s disastrous environmental policies. That’s because the intersection between American politics and the ecology is a critical one. Indeed, the election of the Republican presidential nominee would be a game changer for the planet. Trump has spoken repeatedly on the campaign trail about his passion for bringing back the U.S. coal industry, thus pandering to blue-collar voters while promoting the dirtiest [...]

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Posted in Claims, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

More than six years ago, this blog was created largely in response to one gigantic and catastrophic event: The massive BP oil spill in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. That tragedy has had dozens of story lines — from the toxic dispersant that made so many clean-up workers ill, to the deaths of sea creatures from dolphins to endangered turtles, to the destruction of Louisiana’s precious wetlands. Since [...]

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

It’s been going on for decades — poor towns in the Deep South, often with a predominantly black population — getting dumped on, whether it’s by Big Oil or by chemical plants or by toxic-waste disposal firms. Many of my earliest cases as an environmental lawyer were in these off-the-beaten track places such as Brookhaven, Mississippi or Martha, Kentucky, where oil companies littered properties with radioactive dust or dumped hazardous [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Legal, Main, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

With all of the crazy things that have happened — or are happening right now — in the 2016 presidential race, it’s easy to lose track of the issues that really matter. The non-stop flow of groping and assault allegations swirling around Republican Donald Trump, or the hacked emails of aides to Democrat Hillary Clinton, are sensational stories that tend to drown out any serious discussions about weighty topics such [...]

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

As I write this, Hurricane Matthew — a monster Category 4 storm — is just hours away from striking the central Florida coast. Millions of people have evacuated over the last day or so, and those who’ve stayed behind face an enormous risk from winds as high as 140 mph, from storm surges as great as nine feet or more, and other hazards such as falling trees. The entire nation, [...]

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

The push is on to hold the world’s largest energy company accountable for decades of unchecked pollution and for its lies about greenhouse-gas pollution that have served as its unsteady foundation. The company in question is ExxonMobil, the fossil-fuel conglomerate known for setting world records for quarterly profits, raking in billions of dollars every month. With its secretive ways — including its isolated Texas headquarters that some call “the Death [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Legal, Main, Ocean Life, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe is back in the news again, thanks to this weekend’s release of the blockbuster Hollywood movie about the rig explosion. Once again, Americans are talking again about a story that had seemed to fade from the picture — even though it would be a huge mistake to anyone to forget the worst ecological disaster in American history. It will certainly be interesting to gauge the [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Recovery, Research Tagged , , , , , ,

As citizens of the world, we all should be concerned — if not alarmed — about climate change and the impact it will have on our way of life. But when you are a citizen of New Orleans, as I am, the issue looms even larger. It’s no secret that my native city is on the front line of global warming; sitting below sea level and separated from the Gulf [...]

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Posted in Claims, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

In more than a quarter century as an environmental lawyer, I’ve learned a lot about the mostly ineffective ways that government regulators do their jobs — and that learning curve definitely accelerated in those first few months after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Time and time again, I — and others in the environmental community here in Louisiana — watched in those early days of the massive BP oil [...]

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