Tagchemical spills

Amid talk of EPA rollback, Texas chemical leak kills 4


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...

W. Va.’s water-poisoning plant hasn’t been inspected in 23 years


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 that a...

Fossil fuel production poisons water again — this time in West Virginia


I write about energy a lot, but not every often about coal. That’s not surprising — in recent years coal has been fading as an energy source here in the United States. That’s in large part because of the rapid growth of extraction of natural gas — a cleaner burning source of energy — and oil through the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Yet coal still...

The people of ‘Cancer Alley’ are fighting back


Suddenly, chemical plants in Louisiana were in the news last week. That’s understandable — two explosions on back-to-back days in Geismar and Donaldsonville in the very heart of “Cancer Alley” not only killed three people and sent others to the hospital but made for dramatic television, as smoke billowed into the bayou air as if set off by a massive bomb (and there was a...

Letter urges feds to act on horrible year for La. environment


The best thing you can say about the state of environmental affairs in Louisiana in 2012 is that there’s been nothing of the horribly catastrophic nature of the Deepwater Horizon fiasco two years ago, which spoiled the Gulf of Mexico for years to come. (Although it is worth noting that there’s still nearly three months left until 2012.) The bad news is that the air that we breathe in...

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