TagHurricane Katrina

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...

East Coast hurricanes keep getting more destructive: Here’s why

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You may have heard on the news that a major hurricane — Joaquin — is currently gaining strength off of the Bahamas and is expected to barrel up the Eastern Seaboard this weekend. The latest reports suggest Joaquin will stay out to sea and that would be welcome news. This is the last thing that these regions of the Mid-Atlantic coastline need right now. You may recall that we’re...

Louisiana still one bad storm away from environmental disasters

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One consequence of the recent 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was a chance to reflect just how lucky New Orleans and the surrounding parishes have been recently — at least when it comes to weather. Of course, no major hurricane has struck Louisiana in a while, and so far 2015 has been largely free of severe tropical weather. On the other hand, that may also provide a false sense of...

10 years after Hurricane Katrina, the stench of corruption persists

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In the last decade, two disasters — one completely man-made, the other a joint production of Mother Nature and avoidable human error — have rattled my native Gulf Coast. I’ve had deep personal involvement — both as an environmental attorney and as an ally to those who’ve crusaded for truth and justice — in the latter one, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill...

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...

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...

LSU emails reveal the silencing of scientific thought in La.

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Here’s one thing that I’ve encountered in my career as an environmental lawyer that’s only become worse in recent years. Those in power — such as Big Oil and the politicians and their bureaucrats that enable them — are terrified of academic free speech, especially in the arena of science. That’s because in business and in politics, it’s all about...

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

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