Crude Justice — the story of a lifetime fighting Big Oil, and winning


The story of my new book — Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America — begins with a phone call. Sometimes one call can change your life – maybe even change the world a little bit. In 1989, I was a young lawyer just a few years out of Loyola Law School. I’d already left one button-down law firm to work as a...

How Chevron is taking over a mid-sized California city


My first big environmental battle was against Chevron. It happened more than two decades ago inside a federal courtroom in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I was representing a machine-shop owner and his employees who’d been poisoned by the radioactive residue inside the pipes they were cleaning for Chevron and other Big Oil clients. Chevron had all the money and resources on its side, but it...

Chevron’s Hubris in the Amazon: Failure to Publicly Apologize for Damage Will Cost Oil Giant $10 Billion


It’s been called the worst environmental crime ever perpetrated, anywhere in the world. Billions of gallons of toxic oil-drilling waste indiscriminately dumped into pristine Amazon waterways used for drinking, fishing and bathing by tens of thousands of Ecuadorians. Three decades of “deliberate” contamination laid waste to an expanse of lush rainforest comparable to the size of...

Leak from Chevron Pipeline Raises New Concerns About Aging Oil-Production Infrastructure in the Gulf


Chevron is reporting that a leak from a pipeline at its Main Pass 299 platform in the Gulf of Mexico released 2.3 gallons of crude. According to a Sept. 14 Reuters report, there was “no recoverable volume of oil visible” in the shallow waters 40 miles east of Venice, Louisiana, where the Chevron installation is located. Earlier in the week, the California-based oil giant shut down a...

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