TagKeystone XL pipeline

Protesters pick up slack for government inaction on fossil fuels

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It’s beginning to look like 2015 will be a banner year for political activism around efforts to block the growth of fossil fuels — both here in the United States and around the world. Indeed, this year we’ve even seen the invention of a new word — “kayaktivists” — to describe the protesters in Seattle who bravely tried to block the movement northward of...

America’s growing pipeline safety crisis

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The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline — the project that’s become the face of fossil-fuel exploitation in the United States — remains very much up in the air. It’s still not 100 percent clear which way the Obama administration will go on the project, while some Republican candidates like former Texas Gov. Rick Perry say that — in the case the issue is still unresolved...

Obama’s Keystone veto: First step in a long journey

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It doesn’t happen every day, but environmentalists got a rare dollop of good news this week. For months, supporters had been urging the president to veto any bill from the Republican-led Congress that would seek to mandate the Keystone XL pipeline, the project that would carry millions of barrels of dirty Canadian tar sands oil across the American heartland to facilities on the Gulf Coast...

Keystone XL and an ‘outrageous abuse of the law’: My interview with Tavis Smiley

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Last week, it was my honor to fly to Los Angeles to sit down for an interview with PBS’ Tavis Smiley for his nationwide late night show, to discuss my new book Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America. It was a fast-moving conversation that touched a lot of ground, including my early cases over radioactive oil...

Why build a new pipeline when we can’t stop the old ones from blowing up?

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The irony is almost too much to bear. This week, Senate Republicans voted to approve a bill to President Obama’s desk that would mandate the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline — the project that would transport the thick, dirty oil harvested from the tar sands of western Canada across the American prairie to ports and refineries on the Gulf Coast. Opponents are hoping that the...

Montana pipeline crisis should be nail in coffin of Keystone XL

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President Obama’s State of the Union address — and the Republican response — certainly shed a fair amount of light on the state of the environment in 2015. The president, for his part, made a passionate plea for putting climate change at the very top of the nation’s political agenda, although I would have like to have heard more specifics about how the Obama administration...

GOP pushes dangerous Keystone XL pipeline now that it’s not needed

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This is a week that many of us who care about protecting the environment have been dreading. The new 114th Congress takes over today, with Republicans now controlling both houses for the first time since the middle of the George W. Bush era. And — whatever the GOP pretended to stand for during the fall campaign — Republicans have now made it clear that their No. 1 priority will be...

New La. oil spill is a danger warning on pipeline safety

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The Big Oil folks who’ve been trying to cram a vast network of pipelines down the throats of the American people — including the massive Keystone XL project that would transport copious amounts of dirty tar sands oil from western Canada across the U.S. heartland to Gulf refineries, where a lot of it would be shipped abroad — have been preaching a gospel of safety. That sounds...

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...

Fracking doesn’t reduce global warming — it makes it worse

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So the original take on fracking for natural gas was that it was good for the environment, for one simple reason — natural gas is a cleaner fuel than what it normally replaces, particularly coal which is rich in carbon emissions. In other words, they told us that more fracking meant fewer greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Even with a flood of disturbing reports that...

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