TagBig Oil

Finally, Louisiana takes the fight to Big Oil

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For a long time, you had to wonder what it would take for environmental protection to finally become “a thing” in the state of Louisiana. After all, my native state has been whacked over the head with a crisis either caused by, or made worse by, its lack of concern for the ecology on more than one occasion. The nightmare and the massive loss of life that was 2005’s Hurricane...

How the merchants of death — tobacco and oil — worked together

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Not that long ago, I mentioned in a blog post that the New York Times had found strands of evidence — common law firms, similar lobbying and political strategies and the like — suggesting that two of our most notorious industries may have worked more closely together than anyone could have imagined. At first blush, the idea that lobbyists and key executives for these two so-called...

The Pope’s courage on climate is a game-changer

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One of the most frustrating things about the debate over fossil fuels and climate change is that news items that once might have been perceived as catastrophic are now viewed as ho-hum. I’m sure to some people, the constant news reports about the world breaking temperature records for particular months or for entire years, or headlines about the melting of polar ice caps or heat waves over...

While you were out, Big Oil polluters win…again

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There’s something that people who work in the news business call “the Friday night news dump.” It’s a situation that occurs when a source of news – say, a government agency, or a big business – has information that they’re not excited to make public, but was bound to come out eventually. So they release it late on a Friday afternoon. Why? Because more people out for dinner or to Happy Hour on...

Why the politicians are powerless against Big Oil and Gas

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One of the reasons that I wanted to tell the story that is my new book — Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America — is to show that there’s only one way to fight the energy giants, and that’s in a courtroom, before a jury of 12 regular citizens. And there’s a reason for that. There are three...

La. is “Losing Ground,” and Big Oil is a big reason why

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A lot of folks in Louisiana are talking today — the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall — about a major investigation by the New Orleans-based website, The Lens, and the award-winning investigative-reporting outfit, ProPublica, looking at the dramatic loss of wetlands in my native state. Perhaps the most jaw-dropping element of the project is an interactive map that...

Jindal: “Tough” on BP, a lapdog for Big Oil

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This is how you know BP has really crossed the line: When the company that gave us the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 5-million-barrel oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has gone so far over the top with its efforts to challenge legitimate damage claims and to cheat on its promises to the Gulf that it’s even angered Louisiana’s rabidly pro-business governor, Bobby Jindal. Jindal has...

It’s a start: La. agency takes on Big Oil over wetlands

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Much of the work that I do as an environmental attorney based in my hometown of New Orleans is animated by one thing: Big Oil has run roughshod over the Gulf Coast, and especially the state of Louisiana, for more than a century. Whether it’s oil companies dumping radioactive pipe on unsuspecting clean-up workers and pouring radium-laced water into unlined pits, or leaving behind a massive...

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

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