From New York to New Orleans, noise pollution terrorizes the public


Shhhhhh. Can you hear me? We need to talk again. A couple of times since I started this blog, I’ve told you about another environmental battle that I’ve been waging in my hometown for a long time — a problem that predates the nefarious doings of BP and the fracking boom from coast to coast. It’s a war against noise pollution — an assault on the ears, just as much as...

“Something really disastrous happening in the Gulf”: Research proves BP’s dispersant made things much, much worse


There’s an old saying in legal circles that the cover-up is always much worse than the initial crime. It’s hard to say if that is exactly true with the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 — after all, the initial explosion killed 11 workers and caused roughly 5 million barrels of oil to spew into the rich marine environment. But the core of the ensuing cover...

Olympics sponsor BP wins both a gold and a silver in environmental recklessness


As a lifelong resident of the Gulf, I’ve already expressed my outrage and dismay at learning that BP — yes, that BP, British Petroleum, spiller of roughly 5 million barrels of oil into one of the world’s natural treasures — has been named a “sustainability partner” of the 2012 Olympics in London, which finally kicked off this weekend. That selection made a...

Day of the dolphin: BP spill played key role in die-off


We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The Gulf was under enormous environmental pressures before April 20, 2011, the date that the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up and killed 11 workers and then spewed so much oil into such a vital body of water. Let’s face it, the reason that environmental protection is so important is because our wonderful ecology is so fragile. Even in a...

Pollution fighters catch ExxonMobil in a Baton Rouge big lie


This is a bad news/good news post about a major threat to public health that most folks outside of Louisiana don’t know about, and how a hearty band of citizens was able to get results in the face of a Big Oil giant that’s hellbent on lying and state regulators who are normally prone to help big corporations cover things up. In the past, I’ve told you that Louisiana — in...

The problem is that the Gulf was already under attack even before BP added 5 million barrels of oil to the mix


There’s one thing that’s very important to remember when we talk about the Gulf of Mexico and the aftermath of the BP oil disaster. Which is this: That it’s not as if everything was all hunky-dory in the region, environmentally speaking, before April of 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. To the contrary, human activity — industry, agriculture, suburban...

“The Gulf’s best tourism season in years” soaks an Alabama family in tarballs

At this point, it’s probably beating a dead horse to make fun of those omnipresent ads for BP promoting tourism along the Gulf of Mexico — the ones that call it “the Gulf’s best tourism season in years.” The reality for most tourists along the Gulf Coast is that — to put it mildly — the experience can vary. It’s possible to have a grand summer vacation two...

New report sheds light on an alarming trend: Government muzzling scientists


It’s getting harder and harder to be a scientist in America these days — especially if you work for, or work with the federal government, or if you cross one of the favored companies of our political leaders. We encountered this first-hand as we tried to investigate the BP oil spill and its aftermath here in the Gulf. Scientific experts who dared contradict the rosiest scenarios came...

More BP fallout: Will the baby birds ever come back to Cat Island?


There was a story a couple of weeks agoabout the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill that got a fair amount of attention, including on this blog. A researcher had discovered that the oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon blowup had sped up the already ongoing erosion of critical wetlands in the Bayou State: The 2010 BP oil spill accelerated the loss of Louisiana’s delicate marshlands, which were...

“Keystone Kops”: Major pipeline spills raise serious questions about safety of Keystone XL project


For a lot of American environmentalists, the Keystone XL pipeline project was a major wakeup call about the rising, out-of-control power of Big Oil in this country, stretching all the way to the corridors of power in Washington. The proposal called for a 2,147-mile pipeline that would run from the booming oil-sands region of western Canada and ultimately connect all the way to the Gulf Coast...

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