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...

America’s fracking wars are coming to a head


America’s fracking wars are coming to a head. Increasingly, everyday people are seeing the risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale-rock formations to get the oil and natural gas that’s trapped beneath – and they’re deciding they don’t want any part of it. As a result, lawmakers in Washington are taking unprecedented steps to keep angry citizens and aggressive state regulators from...

Texas fertilizer plants: An explosive situation


This blog would probably go out of business if governments would simply do their supposed job and regulate big business, with the simple goal of protecting the safety and long-term health of citizens. Just look at the situations I write about most frequently: The BP oil spill, Fukushima, the Louisiana sinkhole, fracking, pipeline accidents. All very different situations, but at the core...

Pa. fracking test outrage shows need for leadership


Even though the candidates haven’t discussed it nearly enough, today’s election is going to be critical for the future of the environment…and the future of the planet. On some big-ticket issues such as climate change, the challenges — and the contrasts between America’s two political parties — are fairly obvious. But what voters forget is that day-to-day...

Frack U.: Drilling comes to campus as America wises up about Big Gas


College kids across the great state of Pennsylvania are about to get an honors-level schooling in the joys and risks of unbridled fracking. The Republican governor of the Keystone State. Tom Corbett, and his legislative allies in the state capital of Harrisburg — after a two-year crusade to cut funding for higher education — have told state universities they can make back some of the...

NY’s Cuomo demands answers about fracking — and so does the rest of America


These days, when it comes to the debate about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas, you hear far too many stories like this one about a woman named Lorrie Squibb out of Flower Mound, Tex. Squibb was a longtime resident of the Lone Star State who moved to Michigan two years ago, but started feeling very ill right after she relocated. “I am a stay at home Mom so there is no...

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