TagGov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana can’t afford to do nothing about its shrinking wetlands

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Restoring wetlands is certainly an expensive proposition. Even with monies available from sources such as the massive settlement that BP reached with Louisiana, the federal government and other Gulf states over the Deepwater Horizon spill, officials struggle to come up with all the funds needed to replenish coastline and bring back to life marshes and bayous that have been destroyed by energy...

Good news and bad news in the quest for safe tap water

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Late last year, I told you about the dire situation in the small, mostly black and underprivileged Louisiana community of St. Joseph. For years, residents had complained about the brackish and discolored water that flowed from their tap. But a largely unresponsive City Hall ignored those complaints, as did mostly unaware state and federal regulators. When the city water was finally tested in...

How Louisiana missed a large oil spill

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One issue that’s come up repeatedly since I launched this website seven years ago has been the multiple failings of Louisiana’s state environmental regulators, especially when it comes to reining in the state’s powerful oil and natural gas interests. For decades, under both Republican and Democratic governors, the regulatory agencies in Baton Rouge haven’t been up to snuff...

Even $50 billion won’t bring back all of Louisiana’s lost wetlands

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There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the effort to restore the massive amount of coastal wetlands — some 1,800 square miles, or one-and-a-half times the size of Rhode Island — that Louisiana has lost over the last 85 years, roughly around the same time period that Big Oil has been doing its business in the state. Aside from the loss of so much biodiversity in a state...

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...

It’s time for Louisiana’s oil companies to pay up

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Elections matter. That was especially true last fall in Louisiana, when voters went to the polls to elect a replacement for the term-limited Gov. Bobby Jindal (who, if you’ll remember, had the audacity to be running for president at that time). It’s pretty hard to make a case that Jindal wasn’t one of the worst governors in the modern history of the state; Louisiana’s...

Whistleblower gets justice in Louisiana DNR corruption case

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The wheels of justice turn slowly, but the good news is that they still turn — even in the cesspool of political corruption that is my home state of Louisiana. Many times on this website, I’ve written about the uselessness of the state’s regulatory agencies — which basically exist to aid and abet Big Oil and Gas, and not the average citizen or Louisiana’s fragile...

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