In-depth: The Gulf is still making marine life, and people, sick


Note: As promised, Part II of my in-depth report on the state of the Gulf. more than four years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe: When the full extent of the Deepwater Horizon spill became clear in the spring of 2010, experts predicted the impact on the Gulf’s diverse ecosystem would last at least for a generation, if not longer. Unfortunately, they were working off a known template: The...

More damning evidence that the Gulf is still sick


Earlier this week, I presented the first part of some research showing that more than four years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe — at a moment in which BP is mounting a furious and at times a bit ridiculous PR campaign to show that everything is back to normal — in fact the Gulf of Mexico is still very, very sick. I noted the non-stop assault on our beaches of tar balls and...

In-Depth: The Gulf Is Still Sick


On April 15, 2014, with the fourth anniversary of the massive Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just days away, British Petroleum – the rig’s operator — issued a press release that caught many people off-guard. BP announced that its “active cleanup” of oil pollution in the Gulf had officially ended. The statement by the British energy giant did not say that...

The incredible nerve of Jane Lubchenco


Jane Lubchenco is a little like the monster in a bad horror flick — every time that you think she’s been vanquished, she keeps coming back. Lubchenco was the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, in the aftermath of the BP oil spill. And to the extent that the federal government consistently sided with the British oil giant instead of the American...

Government scientists prove BP is killing dolphins


It’s no secret here on the Gulf Coast that ever since BP’s reckless Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010, dolphins have been getting sick and dying at an alarming rate. I’ve been reporting on this phenomenon since the early months after the spill, and this has been an ongoing, sickening event in the nearly four years that have followed. For example, I noted earlier this year...

The dispersant is more deadly than the oil


It was no secret that spraying nearly 2 million gallons of a toxic chemical — the oil dispersant marketed under the brand name Corexit — into the Gulf of Mexico was a really, really bad idea. Indeed. back on May 11, 2010, or less than a month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, I issued a statement warning that BP’s willy-nilly spraying of the dispersant, which was...

How BP poisoned 170,000 Gulf cleanup workers


The most misunderstood — and arguably the most tragic — outcome of the 2010 BP oil spill is the very serious risk to an estimated 170,000 citizens who had some role in cleaning up the environmental disaster. A veritable army of civilians — some hired though BP, but many of them volunteers worried about the impact of some 5 million barrels of crude oil on the Gulf and its...

Scientists: BP oil missed by government pollutes sea floor, taints seafood


More than three years out, the pace of independent scientific research into the aftermath of the BP oil spill is increasing. These new reports are exactly the kind of outside analysis that both the oil giant and the federal government worked so hard to discourage in the months immediately after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in April 2010. As many feared, scientists are gathering new evidence...

More proof that toxic dispersant and oil spills don’t mix


This has become a familiar storyline: Another month, and another study showing that the kind of toxic dispersant that was dumped so indiscriminately in the Gulf of Mexico in the weeks immediately after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe poses a significant threat to the long-term health of marine life. This latest study deserves particularly close attention, because of the rigorous scientific...

The forgotten divers of Deepwater Horizon


This past weekend’s Memorial Day ceremonies were a special time for remembering the many men and women who were called to serve and who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The troops who have fought for our country are truly special — and yet at the same time they embody something more fundamental about the American character. There is a deep instinct among so many citizens...

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