TagShell

“From the air, you would have thought you were in the Deepwater Horizon spill”

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Outside of the Gulf region, there hasn’t been a ton of publicity about Shell’s pipeline leak and oil spill off the coast of Louisiana that was revealed late last week. Maybe that’s the Deepwater Horizon Effect, since just six years after more than 4 million barrels of crude spewed into the Gulf, 88,000 gallons may sound like the proverbial drop in the bucket. The reality is very...

Just what the Gulf didn’t need: A new oil spill

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If there’s anything that the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t need, it’s one more drop of crude oil pollution. Even though we just marked the grim 6th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the region is still feeling the impacts: Diminished wetlands with marshes still contaminated by crude oil, vital sea species — including a lot of the seafood that you might normally...

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...

It wasn’t just Exxon that said one thing on global warming and did something else

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The story broke last year, and it quickly became the environmental scandal of the decade: Evidence that the world’s largest oil company knew for decades that climate change — driven largely by fossil-fuel pollution — would cause catastrophic damage to Planet Earth if left unchecked. It seemed almost too cynical to believe that Exxon Corp., the massive forerunner to today’s...

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...

Finally some good news in the fight against Arctic drilling

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It’s easy to get discouraged about the future of environmentalism when you’re following news of the 2016 presidential race. After all, with an astounding 17 “major” candidates throwing their hats into the ring, and with only nationally televised debate so far, the Republican Party is drawing the lion’s share of the news coverage. And when it comes to the fate of...

Obama’s hypocritical Alaska trip

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President Obama landed in Alaska last night to begin a 3-day trip though the 49th state, his first extensive visit there since entering the White House. The trip is fascinating, important, very historic — and highly hypocritical. Most of the visit is dedicated to highlighting the problem of climate change, and what better backdrop than Alaska, where glaciers are melting amid record high...

Obama’s blind spot on Arctic drilling

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President Obama has been having quite a summer. In fact, some political pundits are calling 2015 the most successful year of his presidency — his nuclear-weapons deal with Iran, congressional approval of his Asian trade deal, seeing his health-care plan ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court and pushing a sweeping overhaul of the criminal-justice system. In the seventh year of his presidency...

A new chapter in the insanity of Arctic drilling begins

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So far, 2015 has been a mostly gloomy year in the arena of fighting back against fossil fuel. Neither the plunging prices for oil and gas nor the growing realization — even embraced this week in the corridors of the Vatican — that greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of entire planet have made much of a dent in our mad rush to drill deep under the sea, in bitter...

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