Tag Archives: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

It’s something of a mixed blessing working as an environmental attorney in Louisiana. On one hand, the power and prevalence of the state’s oil refineries, offshore drilling and chemical plants means that there’s no shortage of environmental cases to handle. On the other hand, it’s been simply heartbreaking to watch what the rise of locals call “Cancer Alley” — stretching from Baton Rouge all the way down the Mississippi River to [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

One of the many battles with Big Oil that I chronicle in my new book — Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America — is the fight over BP’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The action peaked during the darkest days of the spill that poisoned the Gulf with 5 million barrels of [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Response Tagged , , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of news on the environmental front this week, most of it concerning the intersection between our fragile ecology and our broken politics. Word that the Republican Party re-took control of the U.S. Senate and amped up its big majority in the House of Representatives has also led to increased speculation that the GOP’s No. 1 priority will be a crusade against environmental protections. On every issue [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

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 with [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Recovery, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Fracking has caused a lot of Americans to focus on the alarming environmental practices of the U.S. oil and gas industry, and that’s perfectly understandable. For one thing, the term “fracking” is still new and  scary sounding to some, and perhaps funny sounding to others. Perhaps more importantly, the boom in unconventional gas drilling has come to a lot of parts of the country, such as Pennsylvania and (potentially) parts of [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Investigations, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

It looks like public officials are finally wising up when it comes to the ill-advised plan to bring fracking to the environmentally sensitive lands of South Louisiana. As I’ve noted in this space previously, a locally based company called Helis Oil and Gas wants to launch the region’s first hydraulic fracturing site in St. Tammany Parish, just north of Lake Pontchartrain. Residents are up in arms over the plan, and they [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

One of the big issues surrounding fracking is whether drillers should be required to disclose the chemicals they use to blast through rock formations deep under the earth. Environmental groups and local residents say that information is vital to protecting the public health, while the oil and gas companies insist this is proprietary business information. This week, we got another inkling of the real reason they’re not eager to share [...]

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Posted in Fracking, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

Over this Easter weekend, I had a chance to absorb quite a bit of coverage of what’s happened in the Gulf of Mexico in the four years since BP’s massive Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. I had a couple of thoughts. One was that with the passage of time, the news coverage of the BP anniversary has actually seemed to increase over last year. It’s good that the news media — [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Oil Spill Facts, Regulation, Response, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , , ,

You’d probably agree with me that 1991 was a long time ago. George Bush was the president then — not George W. Bush but George H.W. Bush, the 41st president. It would be another 19 years until our beloved Saints would finally win a Super Bowl. A lot of today’s pop stars, like Miley Cyrus, weren’t even born yet. And 1991 was also, believe it or not, the last year [...]

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Posted in Human Interest, Illnesses, Main, Regulation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

Thanksgiving is never a week to release important news — but I want to make sure that people see this story, because it is important indeed. There’s a major new report out that undercuts some other recent research on a critical topic: Whether leaking methane gas from the fracking process for natural gas is becoming a greenhouse-gas disaster. If significant amounts of methane are escaping into the atmosphere, and thus [...]

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