Can our legal system stop global warming, for the sake of the children?


As an environmental attorney, I’ve seen time and time again how the American legal system can bring justice to people — blue-collar workers, private property owners — who had no other real venue for airing their grievances. We’ve seen time and time again that large, profit-minded corporations can’t be trusted to do the right thing, and that too many of our so-called...

Actually, climate change is a threat to national security


There was a Democratic debate for president the other night, and there was a lot of chatter afterward about a comment made by one of the candidates, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Throughout his campaign, Sanders has insisted that climate change is the No. 1 issue facing both America and mankind. But in the wake of Friday’s grim terrorist attack conducted by ISIS in Paris that killed some 129...

How is fracking ‘safe’ when we don’t know what’s in fracking fluids?


I’ve long predicted that California will be the place where the rubber hits the road for the fracking boom in America. The rewards in a resource-rich state are too great for Big Oil and Gas to ignore, but the risks — of wasting millions upon millions of gallons of water in a drought-stricken state, of causing earthquakes in a region criss-crossed by fault lines, of polluting the...

The most damning evidence against fracking yet!


It’s hard to imagine how the news about fracking could get any worse. On any given day, my news feed is filled with reports from all across America, and sometimes from outside our borders, about the unintended environmental consequences of this extreme method of extracting natural gas from the shale formations under the earth. Just today, there was yet another report of an earthquake in...

Two days after California rejects fracking moratorium, new earthquake strikes L.A.


Earlier this year, I told you that Southern California could be where the proverbial rubber hits the road for Big Oil and its decade-long adventure with fracking. Although the geology underneath Southern California is rich with natural resources including fossil fuels, the region also has special issues that make it a terrible candidate for the fracking process. One is that the drilling process...

Will California be where the fracking boom went to die?


They struck oil early Thursday in Southern California. OK, that’s not really accurate: What really happened is that oil struck the streets of the Los Angeles suburb of Glenside, thanks to a massive pipeline accident: The Los Angeles Fire Department says a ruptured oil pipe near the suburb of Glendale has spilled about 50,000 gallons of crude oil onto streets. According to the Fire...

The war on water


“Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it.” — West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Water is our most precious natural resource — I don’t know anybody who would dispute that. But it’s appalling the...

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