TagDeepwater Horizon

Just what the Gulf didn’t need: A new oil spill

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If there’s anything that the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t need, it’s one more drop of crude oil pollution. Even though we just marked the grim 6th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the region is still feeling the impacts: Diminished wetlands with marshes still contaminated by crude oil, vital sea species — including a lot of the seafood that you might normally...

Don’t shed a tear for BP’s lost billions

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Do you think that you had a bad year in 2015? I can almost guarantee that economically, it wasn’t as bad as it was for BP, the British oil giant behind the worst oil spill in American history. This week, BP officially it announced its earnings for the quarter and for the year — but the term “earnings” is something of a misnomer. Indeed, the Big Oil icon lost a whopping $6...

The South rises in opposition to offshore drilling

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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...

New study confirms the worst about toxic dispersant in the Gulf

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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...

Dolphin study shows BP spill will affect Gulf for generations

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Over the last five years, a series of scientific studies have clearly documented the enormous consequences of the 2010 BP oil spill on fish and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. From the majestic and endangered Kemp’s ridley turtle to the sensitive shrimp and oyster beds, exposure to the more than 4 million barrels that flowed from the worst oil spill in American history, or to the toxic...

One more reason that offshore drilling remains such a threat

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Will America ever get a hands around the problems with offshore oil drilling? There was a brief moment after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 when the scenes of devastation — oiled birds, massive slicks invading the precious marshlands of the Gulf and its sandy white beaches — made you think that the government would finally make drilling safety a significant priority. Of...

The GOP practically asks for another Deepwater Horizon

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The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf five years ago sure exposed a lot of holes in the current system. By that, I certainly mean holes in our system of environmental regulations, as BP was allowed to get away with all kinds of risky cost-cutting maneuvers during the drilling process, right up to the explosion that killed 11 people and spewed more than 4 million barrels of crude oil into...

On offshore drilling, an oil glut accomplishes what the Obama administration won’t

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It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Consider the sensitive issue of offshore drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Five years ago, when the Deepwater Horizon disaster wreaked its havoc on the region, killing 11 workers and ultimately spewing between 4 and 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf, some folks actually wondered if that was the end of offshore oil production. After...

Even earthquakes don’t kill the dream of extreme oil

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The last decade — ever since it became clear in the mid-2000s that conventional oil fields around the planet were running low — has been the era of “extreme oil.” Big Oil promised the world that the wonder of new technologies — most notably hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as well as other advances in drilling capabilities — would make it possible to tap rich...

The BP settlement isn’t good enough for Plaquemines Parish

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I’ve long said that no likely BP settlement would ever be enough for the damage that its 2010 oil spill caused to the Gulf region. Mostly, that’s a moral argument: The purpose of punitive damages is that a company must be shown that the cost of doing bad is more than doing good — but that’s hard to do when an oil company’s typically reckless drilling and production...

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