TagGen. Russel Honore

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...

Louisiana citizens wise up to pipeline dangers

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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...

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...

Louisiana’s Green Army declares war on polluters

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For time to time, I’ve kept readers here up to date on Gen. Russel Honore — the retired military leader who provided strong, much-needed leadership in Louisiana’s dark days after Hurricane Katrina — and his environmental group, the Green Army. At one time, there was a lot of speculation that Honore’s “army” would prove to be his foot soldiers in the...

How local protests are saving the planet

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There’s an old saying in politics: Think globally, act locally. But when it comes to the major issues facing our environment, that idea has been largely honored in the breach. The rise of large and well intentioned lobbying groups such as the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council led a lot of rank-and-file voters to assume that someone was off in Washington, D.C., or maybe...

How Big Oil staged a coup in Baton Rouge

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This weekend, the New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy — and rather remarkable — look at what happened when a New Orleans levee board decided to take seriously its mission of restoring the Louisiana environment to its original health. If you’ve been reading this blog, the story of New Orleans historian John Barry, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (also...

Cornhuskers join Louisianans in fighting Big Oil

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I’ve written a lot lately about the growing movement for environmental justice in my home state of Louisiana — about Gen. Russel Honore and his “Green Army” and how everyday citizens of the state, from Mandeville to Bayou Corne, are saying no to Big Oil and Gas running roughshod over their drinking water and the natural splendor of Bayou Country. It’s more noteworthy...

Progress for the people of Louisiana

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One of the major themes I’ve been writing about frequently in the last year is the rising environmental movement in Louisiana. To be clear, my home state already boasted some fierce fighters for environmental justice, like Marylee Orr and her Louisiana Environmental Action Network, or the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, doing battle with dirty chemical plants. But the shock of recent events such...

Honore: Oil and chemical companies “hijacking our democracy”

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Talk about a contrast: This weekend, I told you about a speech in New Orleans before America’s top environment journalists that was delivered by Geoff Morrell, the former Pentagon flack turned public relations “expert” for BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon fiasco. I mentioned that Morrell stunned the reporters in the audience by blaming the aura of bad publicity...

Something’s happening in South Louisiana, and the “Dirty Dozen” doesn’t get it

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Every day, there’s more evidence that the healthy winds of change are blowing through Louisiana. That’s especially true in the southern part of the state which has been battered by events that have been both epic in scale — the BP oil spill and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina — and more prosaic, like the Bayou Corne sinkhole and the day-in, day-out toxins pumped into the...

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