Tagoffshore drilling

The secret oil spill that’s eating away at the Gulf


The 2010 BP oil spill has had many unintended consequences. Here’s another one: It tends to suck a lot of the oxygen from other serious environmental issues facing the Gulf of Mexico — especially now with a flood of publicity on the 5th anniversary of the catastrophe. But even before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010, this precious natural resource on...

The watchdogs have changed since BP’s spill…they’ve gotten worse


They promised us it was going to be different the next time. What else could they say after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe four years ago, when 11 people lost their lives and so much crude oil spewed forth into the Gulf. The BP oil spill was, first and foremost, a failure of corporate responsibility, with a culture that was geared toward cutting costs and maximizing profits, not toward dealing...

America’s dangerous renewed romance with fossil fuels


This week, climate change has spent an all-too-brief moment on top of the public’s agenda, as world leaders and diplomats discussed the simmering issue at the United Nations and look for some kind of breakthrough that will lead to meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Many cynics say that serious action is impossible, because even if the United States — the world leader...

BP steps up its war against the citizens on the Gulf Coast


Throughout 2014, BP has shown us its true colors, again and again. The “friendly, community-oriented company” that the British oil giant spent hundreds of millions of dollars depicting in its slick television ads — its effort to clean up its image even as gooey tar balls continue to assault the beaches of the Gulf Coast — is all but gone. In its place is a Grinch that is...

Deep fracking in the Gulf of Mexico — what could go wrong?


Recently, I’ve been highly focused on one story in particular: The Gulf of Mexico remains under extreme stress. Some of the problems go back a number of years — particularly the oxygen-deprived, so-called “dead zones in the Gulf that have grown to the size of the state of Connecticut and had a severe impact on our fisheries. This seemingly intractable crisis has defied calls for...

Past lessons unlearned, Gulf drilling is at all-time high


I guess this falls in the category of “now they tell us,” but BP essentially admitted in court this week that the 2010 oil-spill disaster might have been much less worse if the company had taken a simple safety precaution ahead of time: If BP already had a capping stack of the type it eventually used to close the erupting oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, it could have ended the...

Natural gas rig suffers major blowout, then explodes, in the Gulf (with photos)


The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 did little to slow the growth of oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, even as more bad news continues to come out about how that spill and the botched use of dispersant hammered the coastal environment. Nor were safety measures greatly enhanced — so it’s not surprising to see new,¬†alarming reports of spills and mishaps. Today, a...

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

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