Latest stories

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

&

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...

Louisiana citizens wise up to pipeline dangers

L

For most of the last eight decades or so that Big Oil’s had its way with the state of Louisiana, it was rare — unheard of, really — for local residents to oppose an energy-related project. For most folks, environmentalism — opposing new drilling or unsightly pipelines in your backyard — was something that maybe “the Yankees” did, but not Louisianans. And...

Fire is a jarring reminder of Gulf drilling risks

F

The news broke in the middle of the night: Another major fire at an offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. Each time this happens, the news brings back painful memories of April 20, 2010, and the shocking explosion at BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig. The catastrophic effect of that tragic explosion and fire has been well documented (including a recent...

Christmas comes early for La. pollution fighters

C

A few months ago, I told you about the latest public health crisis in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” — the strip of heavily polluting refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities that line the banks of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge all the way down past New Orleans. Many of the most threatened community are predominantly poor and predominantly black...

Obama throws down the gauntlet on Arctic, Atlantic drilling

O

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...

America’s water crisis slams a small La. town

A

America’s crisis over the lack of safe drinking water feels like it’s spiraling out of control these days. It was just a couple of days ago that I told you about an emergency in Corpus Christi, Texas, where shoddy practices by a local Big Oil subsidiary had caused gallons of a highly toxic, carcinogenic chemical to back up into the Gulf Coast city’s main water supply. The crisis...

Corpus Christi is America’s newest Flint

C

The name of the Texas coastal community called Corpus Christi translates literally as “the body of Christ.” But what’s been happening over the last few days with the water in this oil-and-chemical city and its drinking water has been anything but holy. Instead, Corpus Christi is joining the growing list of American cities whose tap water has been compromised, either from aging...

EPA comes out with the truth on fracking and drinking water

E

It was just a year and a half ago that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came out with its first draft of a much-anticipated report about the impact that the boom in hydraulic fracking operations, or fracking, around the country was having on our drinking water. Environmentalists had encouraged such a study because the anecdotal evidence — people living near fracking rigs who...

How Dakota pipeline firm also threatens Louisiana

H

There was some very good news this week on the environmental front, for a change. At a moment when things looked darkest for the stirring protest movement against the Dakota Access pipeline — with a brutal winter bearing down on the rural North Dakota protest site and authorities threatening to clear out their encampment — there was a dramatic reversal of fortune. Army officials...

Climate change is attacking the Great Barrier Reef

C

One of the more fantastic experiences that I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime was an opportunity, several years ago, to scuba dive along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This is truly one of the world’s great natural splendors; it is the largest living thing on Planet Earth, stretching some 900 miles, and it is also much larger than anything that humans have ever constructed. Chock full...

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

Follow Us