The damage from Deepwater Horizon that can’t be restored


The 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe is back in the news again, thanks to this weekend’s release of the blockbuster Hollywood movie about the rig explosion. Once again, Americans are talking again about a story that had seemed to fade from the picture — even though it would be a huge mistake to anyone to forget the worst ecological disaster in American history. It will certainly be...

It wasn’t just Exxon that said one thing on global warming and did something else


The story broke last year, and it quickly became the environmental scandal of the decade: Evidence that the world’s largest oil company knew for decades that climate change — driven largely by fossil-fuel pollution — would cause catastrophic damage to Planet Earth if left unchecked. It seemed almost too cynical to believe that Exxon Corp., the massive forerunner to today’s...

Flawed EPA study still confirms fracking can pollute your water


One of the biggest questions that’s hovered out there since the fracking boom first entered the public’s consciousness about five years ago is this: Is unconventional oil-and-gas drilling safe for the water supply. The industry’s position is that fracking can’t affect people’s drinking water because the extraction process takes place too far below that groundwater...

More heartbreak: BP spill crushed comeback of rare turtle


Even now, some four-and-a-half years after the BP spill, hardly a day goes by when a new piece of information — often a significant new scientific study — doesn’t cross my desk to remind me of the horrors that BP unleashed upon the Gulf through its wanton negligence back in 2010. It’s heartbreaking, because typically these studies serve mainly to show that the initial dire...

New study nails BP on its never-ending Gulf tar balls


BP continues to tell the public that its 2010 oil spill is receding into the pages of history, that the cleanup is essentially over and that the devastation caused by the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon is now behind us. But the evidence tells a different story. From western Louisiana all the way to Florida, tar balls and even larger oily blobs called tar mats continue to assault the white...

Scientists: BP oil missed by government pollutes sea floor, taints seafood


More than three years out, the pace of independent scientific research into the aftermath of the BP oil spill is increasing. These new reports are exactly the kind of outside analysis that both the oil giant and the federal government worked so hard to discourage in the months immediately after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in April 2010. As many feared, scientists are gathering new evidence...

One more reason to hate BP’s toxic tar balls: They contain flesh-eating bacteria


Over the last three years, I’ve written a lot about one of the more insidious impacts of the massive BP oil spill of 2010: Tar balls. Despite the efforts of the oil giant, often backed by the government, to break the oil apart with its (highly poisonous, it turned out) dispersant Corexit, these gobs of crude oil congealed and often found a home buried in shallow sand. These repositories of...

Yet another study questions the use of Corexit


It’s looking more and more like the federal government’s massive civil suit against BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe is actually going to trial — although you never know what’s going to happen until the judge bangs the final gavel. I do know this: If BP — and the people of the Gulf Coast — actually all do get our day (or weeks) in court...

Scientists: Efforts to disperse the BP spill made it much, much more toxic


One of the least understood aspects of the environmental devastation caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and spill in 2010 is the role of the chemical dispersant — known by its brand name Corexit — that was deployed by BP and its contractors, with the enthusiastic support of federal regulators, in the weeks that oil flowed freely into the Gulf of Mexico. Spraying Corexit...

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