Taglevee board

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...

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...

Don’t let Jindal do to America what he’s done for Louisiana and its environment

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You might have missed it — there are, in all seriousness, close to 20 announced or expected Republican candidates for president in 2016 — but the outgoing governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, threw his hat into the ring earlier today. The Ivy League technocrat who once promised to reform government in a state with a rich history of corruption is a dim memory after seven years in Baton...

Louisiana wetlands under assault again

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The wetlands in Louisiana just can’t catch a break. Between 1932 and 2010, the state lost these critical marshes and swamps equal to the size of the state of Delaware, and that rate is accelerating. One of the best hopes for restoring these vanished wetlands — a lawsuit filed by the levee board in New Orleans seeking 97 big oil and gas companies to pay for a century worth of damage...

While you were out, Big Oil polluters win…again

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There’s something that people who work in the news business call “the Friday night news dump.” It’s a situation that occurs when a source of news – say, a government agency, or a big business – has information that they’re not excited to make public, but was bound to come out eventually. So they release it late on a Friday afternoon. Why? Because more people out for dinner or to Happy Hour on...

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...

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...

All in the family: Does Jindal have a conflict of interest on BP legislation?

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It’s not surprising that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has served as a handmaiden for the oil-and-gas industry during his six-and-a-half years in Baton Rouge. For one thing, it’s in keeping with the pro-business-at-any-cost, environment-be-damned-philosophy of today’s Republican Party. What’s more, Jindal has been on the receiving end of more than $1 million in campaign...

Experts: Louisiana’s wetlands crisis is getting much worse

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Some days it seems like our politicians are living in a dream world. A couple of days ago, I told you about Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal and his craven approval of badly written legislation that will a) do the bidding of his Big Oil and Gas campaign donors and kill a lawsuit that would require 97 large companies to spend billions to restore the coastal wetlands they destroyed and b) was...

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

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