TagPresident Barack Obama

A turning point in the fight against climate change

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A season of upbeat news about humankind’s struggles to combat climate change and to turn the tide on our addiction to fossil fuels reached its crescendo this past weekend. That’s when the world’s leaders — 195 of them — signed off on a landmark agreement to curb greenhouse gas pollution. Some critics say that the plan — which aims to limit the rise in global...

RIP, Arctic drilling…but is it too late?

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There’s been a lot of news on the environment this week — some of it very good and some of it very bad. Like the old joke, let’s start with the good news first. Since the dog days of summer, when disappointed protesters called “kayaktavists” watched Shell’s massive drilling rig depart Seattle’s harbor for the Arctic waters off Alaska,developments on that...

The good guys win on Arctic drilling

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A band of ferocious protesters called “kayactivists” were unable to stop it, at first. And the Obama administration, which had the power to at least delay it and probably halt it, didn’t bother to try. But in the end, it turned out that time and Mother Nature have accomplished what environmentalists at first did not. Offshore drilling in the Arctic waters off Alaska is dead for...

Hillary Clinton’s new stance on the Keystone XL is a win for the planet

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It didn’t get all the attention that it deserved — maybe because for some odd reason this happened at almost the precise instant that Pope Francis touched down for his tour of the United States. But Hillary Clinton — who despite a number of challenges remains the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination and the most likely to become president — took another...

Finally some good news in the fight against Arctic drilling

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It’s easy to get discouraged about the future of environmentalism when you’re following news of the 2016 presidential race. After all, with an astounding 17 “major” candidates throwing their hats into the ring, and with only nationally televised debate so far, the Republican Party is drawing the lion’s share of the news coverage. And when it comes to the fate of...

Obama’s hypocritical Alaska trip

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President Obama landed in Alaska last night to begin a 3-day trip though the 49th state, his first extensive visit there since entering the White House. The trip is fascinating, important, very historic — and highly hypocritical. Most of the visit is dedicated to highlighting the problem of climate change, and what better backdrop than Alaska, where glaciers are melting amid record high...

A cruel summer for oil spills

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There hasn’t been as much talk lately about the Keystone XL project, the massive proposed pipeline that would take some of the dirtiest fuel known to mankind — extracted from the tar sands of western Canada — and ship it across the American heartland to the Gulf Coast, where most it will be shipped to overseas markets. My hunch is that the Obama administration — which...

Obama gets it right on climate change

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Here we go on the political see-saw with President Obama. Just last week, it was a sharp move down, as the White House continued to knuckle under to Big Oil interests on the critical issue of offshore drilling as it signed off on the risky practice of offshore drilling in the Arctic while continuing to promote new oil exploration in the Atlantic and elsewhere. The administration’s pro...

Obama’s blind spot on Arctic drilling

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President Obama has been having quite a summer. In fact, some political pundits are calling 2015 the most successful year of his presidency — his nuclear-weapons deal with Iran, congressional approval of his Asian trade deal, seeing his health-care plan ratified by the U.S. Supreme Court and pushing a sweeping overhaul of the criminal-justice system. In the seventh year of his presidency...

The Supreme Court’s mercury poisoning

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There’s been a lot of excitement about the U.S. Supreme Court as it wrapped up its 2014-15 session, and understandably so. On Friday, many people took to the streets in celebration¬†when the High Court ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. In fact, that ruling was held up as a sign that the nine justices were, as a whole, becoming more liberal — building upon two...

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