TagLouisiana

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...

Christmas comes early for La. pollution fighters

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A few months ago, I told you about the latest public health crisis in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” — the strip of heavily polluting refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities that line the banks of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge all the way down past New Orleans. Many of the most threatened community are predominantly poor and predominantly black...

America’s water crisis slams a small La. town

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America’s crisis over the lack of safe drinking water feels like it’s spiraling out of control these days. It was just a couple of days ago that I told you about an emergency in Corpus Christi, Texas, where shoddy practices by a local Big Oil subsidiary had caused gallons of a highly toxic, carcinogenic chemical to back up into the Gulf Coast city’s main water supply. The crisis...

How Dakota pipeline firm also threatens Louisiana

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There was some very good news this week on the environmental front, for a change. At a moment when things looked darkest for the stirring protest movement against the Dakota Access pipeline — with a brutal winter bearing down on the rural North Dakota protest site and authorities threatening to clear out their encampment — there was a dramatic reversal of fortune. Army officials...

They still don’t take seafood safety seriously in the Gulf

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In more than a quarter century as an environmental lawyer, I’ve learned a lot about the mostly ineffective ways that government regulators do their jobs — and that learning curve definitely accelerated in those first few months after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Time and time again, I — and others in the environmental community here in Louisiana — watched in those...

New York Times on climate change: It’s here

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Labor Day weekend hasn’t been a holiday from fear along the East Coast — especially at the Jersey Shore, which is normally booming with tourists from the traditional end of summer vacation. As I write this, Tropical Storm Hermine is strengthening into a hurricane — just as it was when it battered central Florida on its meandering journey northward — and threatening to lash...

How global warming boosted yet another ‘500-year storm’ in Louisiana

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If you’ve watched the news out of Louisiana this weekend, you’ve surely seen clips of the epic flooding in my native state. Entire communities submerged. Heroic rescues of people and their pets from their submerged vehicles or the roofs of their homes. Even Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, had to leave the governor’s mansion because the basement was filled with...

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...

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...

‘Cancer Alley’ is about to get 30 percent worse, if that’s possible

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Too many times in the past, I’ve taken to this blog to write about the latest pollution outrage in the stretch of Louisiana nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” If you’ve been to my native state or even flown over Louisiana bayou country, you’ve certainly seen it: Large refineries or petrochemical processing plants,  shiny, smoke-shrouded jumbles of steel pipes and massive...

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