Tagoil trains

The war on fossil fuels goes hyper-local

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One theme that I’ve come back to a lot in the last few months is the notion that local jurisdictions — state and even city and county governments — can take the lead in the fight against climate change, even at a time when Washington seems determined to pull back. All across the country, local jurisdictions are taking actions to promote the use of electric cars, though charging...

Oil spills are good for the economy, oil industry says

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It’s been six long years since the BP oil spill — but the outrage over what happened in April 2010 out in the Gulf feels pretty fresh. A lot of good people suffered lasting scars from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. I’m thinking about all of the maritime workers who offered to work long, hot hours cleaning up the oily gunk — only to then suffer health problems such as...

Climate change and the new civil disobedience

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Friday marked the 86th anniversary of Mr. Martin Luther King’s birth (even though the national holiday will be on Monday). As time marches along, the brilliance of his efforts to bring freedom and civil rights to African-Americans during the 1950s and 1960s grows brighter and brighter. The cornerstone of his campaign to end desegregation in the Deep South was civil disobedience — the...

“Corporate greed versus the common good”: Oil-bomb trains aren’t going away

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It didn’t get much attention in the American news media, but there was an important anniversary this week. It’s been two years now since the¬†explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where a series of negligent acts led to a runway crude-oil train that hit the center of town on a busy Friday night, killing an astonishing 47 people, many of them inside a packed discotheque. Not surprisingly...

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

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