Tagoffshore oil drilling

Obama throws down the gauntlet on Arctic, Atlantic drilling

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The Obama administration had already telegraphed that it was likely to impose what amounts to a ban on oil-and-natural-gas drilling off the Atlantic coastline and also in the Arctic waters near Alaska. At a moment when the world is looking to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels, neither the plan to expand drilling in the seafood-laden waters off the tourist beaches of the American South nor the...

RIP, Arctic drilling…but is it too late?

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There’s been a lot of news on the environment this week — some of it very good and some of it very bad. Like the old joke, let’s start with the good news first. Since the dog days of summer, when disappointed protesters called “kayaktavists” watched Shell’s massive drilling rig depart Seattle’s harbor for the Arctic waters off Alaska,developments on that...

The good guys win on Arctic drilling

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A band of ferocious protesters called “kayactivists” were unable to stop it, at first. And the Obama administration, which had the power to at least delay it and probably halt it, didn’t bother to try. But in the end, it turned out that time and Mother Nature have accomplished what environmentalists at first did not. Offshore drilling in the Arctic waters off Alaska is dead for...

On offshore drilling, an oil glut accomplishes what the Obama administration won’t

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It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Consider the sensitive issue of offshore drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Five years ago, when the Deepwater Horizon disaster wreaked its havoc on the region, killing 11 workers and ultimately spewing between 4 and 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf, some folks actually wondered if that was the end of offshore oil production. After...

Once again, oil spill causes citizens to do government’s job

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The oil spill story in and around Santa Barbara just keeps getting worse. Indeed, this weekend officials had to close a number of beaches as far south as Orange County, south of Los Angeles, because of a wave of sticky, gooey tar balls, ranging from baseball-sized to football-sized, that keep coming ashore. Officials haven’t yet confirmed that the tar balls are the result of the pipeline...

The wreck of the Kulluk, and how to make sure it never happens again

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I’m worried, frankly, about the long-term effect of the steep drop in the price of oil. Lower prices at the pump – some places are registering under $2 a gallon for the first time in years – could cause rising fuel consumption, especially if motorists in America and elsewhere are tempted to buy SUVs and other less-fuel-efficient vehicles. That, of course, will lead to more greenhouse-gas...

The slow drip-drip-drip of oil assaulting the Gulf

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The Gulf of Mexico is under attack from oil spills. And the millions of gallons of leftover crude from 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster is just a part of it. With hundreds of oil-and-gas related operations, from offshore rigs to refineries, cluttering the Gulf’s waters and lining its shores, the steady drumbeat of medium, small and even seemingly very small leaks and other mishaps...

Oil-addicted America looks for a new fix in the Atlantic

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There’s still a week left in 2013, but it’s pretty clear that America is going to start the new year pretty much the same way that that current one began: Hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels. This week I saw a story in the news that pretty much sums up where this nation is at, as we prepare to celebrate the holidays. While there has certainly been some good news this year on the...

The dispersant is more deadly than the oil

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It was no secret that spraying nearly 2 million gallons of a toxic chemical — the oil dispersant marketed under the brand name Corexit — into the Gulf of Mexico was a really, really bad idea. Indeed. back on May 11, 2010, or less than a month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, I issued a statement warning that BP’s willy-nilly spraying of the dispersant, which was...

BP and the Great Disconnect

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Sometimes you have to wonder whether the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. That’s definitely the case with BP and its horrific environmental track record here in the Gulf. On one hand, environmental officials continue to tally the damage from the massive BP oil spill that took place more than three and a half years ago, and today even officials who once downplayed the effects of...

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