TagFreedom Industries

Why does W. Va. want MORE toxic water pollution?


It wasn’t that long ago when the issue of water pollution in West Virginia was front-page national news. You may remember the incident that happened just over three years ago, in January 2014, involving a company called Freedom Industries. To paraphrase the old Janice Joplin song, “freedom” was just another word, in this case, for corporate neglect. A holding tank filled with...

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...

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...

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