Torn on the bayou: Sinkhole keeps getting bigger, more dangerous


A lot has happened over the last few weeks. In the political world, the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sees a new kerfuffle every few hours. Down here in Louisiana, we’ve been whacked by Hurricane Isaac, and on the environmental front we’re still trying to get BP to pay its fair share for all the havoc it’s wreaked in the Gulf. But there’s one thing...

A temporary reprieve from Shell’s risky and reckless Arctic drilling scheme


For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been consumed with the never-ending fallout from BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. Some 29 months after the explosion that killed 11 people and spewed 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’ve seen a hurricane toss BP’s oil onto our once pristine beaches all over again. And we’ve also been fighting it out in the legal...

Louisiana DEQ bungles a toxic nightmare from Hurricane Isaac


In recent months, I’ve joined with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and others in calling for the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, to be stripped of its powers and for the federal Environmental Protection Administration, or EPA, to take over. This is not an idea that I toss around lightly. Time and time again, Louisiana’s DEQ has shown that it’s simply...

Now, BP claims it wants to clean up Gulf — but not until it spends more on PR


You’ve got to say this about British Petroleum — they have some nerve. For more than two years, we’ve been reporting about all the lingering fallout from the Deepwater Horizon disaster — the sick and deformed seafood, the dead zones and the depleted oyster beds, the oiled marshlands and the dying dolphins, and the clean-up workers with crippling health issues. But now...

We object: Why BP’s $8.7 billion deal is “a failed settlement”


The last couple of weeks have brought a lot of news – both good and bad – down here to the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Isaac was a double whammy; the storm itself destroyed homes and upended people’s lives, but it also stirred up a ton of BP’s oil. There’s believed to be as much as 1 million barrels of oil still polluting our waters, some 29 months after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. That is...

Louisiana unloads and blows giant hole in BP settlement


For the last 29 months, I’ve been chronicling the widespread and still-very-much-ongoing fallout from BP’s gross negligence — “a corporate culture of recklessness,” as U.S. government lawyers called it — that killed 11 people and spewed an astronomical 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, BP, arm in arm with the class action lawyers...

Breaking: Spill settlement unraveling as Halliburton slams deal; BP stock plunges


BP’s $8.7 billion attempt to put the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill behind it continues to come undone. In the latest unraveling of the oil giant’s proposed settlement with thousands of Gulf residents and businesses harmed by the offshore disaster, key rig contractor Halliburton has filed court papers (here and here) slamming the deal as unfair and lacking transparency, and urging a...

Worst fears about BP oil washing ashore after Isaac are coming true


Last week, I reported on this blog there were early indications that Hurricane Isaac had indeed whipped up some of as much as 1 million gallons of BP’s spill oil that remain in the Gulf, assaulting beaches from Florida to Louisiana with tarballs and other goo most likely linked to the 2010 catastrophe. Tonight, there are growing indications that the Gulf’s beaches are under assault...

Bombshell: Feds slam BP in key court filing, admit pollution from 2010 spill continues to ravage Gulf


In a bombshell federal court filing, U.S. government lawyers are slamming British Petroleum for making false and misleading statements that seek to both dodge blame for 2010’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and ignore the ongoing environmental devastation, from diseased dolphins to destroyed wetlands. The papers filed late last week by the U.S. Justice Department’s top environmental...

BP cleanup crews spotted as Isaac stirs up oil, bad memories


For residents of the battered Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac didn’t just bring sheets of rain, pummeling winds, and a powerful storm surge. The slow moving, deceptively destructive Category 1 hurricane stirred up tragic memories of Hurricane Katrina, which arrived seven years earlier to the very day, and it stirred up something else.  Oil. As much as a 1 million barrels, the remnants of a man...

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