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A flare from the Shell Refinery in Norco, Louisiana shines along with Christmas lights on residents homes on Dec. 19, 2013. Julie Dermansky / Corbis via Getty Images

By Julie Dermansky

Louisiana is ground zero for the devastating impacts of climate change. Even though the state is already feeling the costly impacts to life and property due to extreme weather and an eroding coastline linked to a warming planet, its government continues to ignore the primary cause—human use of fossil fuels.

The impacts to the region, such as worsening floods, heat waves and sea level rise, will only be intensified as the globe continues warming, warn federal scientists in the latest National Climate Assessment report.

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A dusky gopher frog. USFWS

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a unanimous setback Tuesday to efforts to protect an extremely endangered species of frog in Louisiana, The New York Times reported.

In Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), landowners had sued to stop the federal government from designating private land in Louisiana as "critical habitat" for the dusky gopher frog, which currently only lives in the De Soto National Forest in Mississippi. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans had upheld the FWS decision to protect the land, but the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to send the case back to the appeals court, asking the lower court to reconsider some key issues.

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Gulf Coast oysters on the half shell at Wintzell's in Mobile, AL. donireewalker / CC BY 2.0

By Daniel R. Petrolia and William C. Walton

For Cainnon Gregg, 2018 started out as a great year. After leaving his job as an installation artist to become a full-time oyster farmer in Wakulla County, Florida in 2017, Gregg began raising small oysters in baskets or bags suspended in the shallow, productive coastal waters of Apalachicola Bay.

Raising oysters "off-bottom" this way takes a lot of time and money, but has a big potential payoff. They are destined for the high-end raw bar market, where offerings are denoted by specific appellations, like "Salty Birds" (Cainnon's oysters), "Navy Coves" (from Alabama) and "Murder Points" (also from Alabama), and can retail for twice the price of oysters harvested from traditional on-bottom reefs.

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Smoke billows from one of many petrochemical plants in Louisiana's "Cancer Alley" on Oct. 12, 2013. Giles Clarke / Getty Images

By Sharon Kelly

The petrochemical industry anticipates spending a total of over $200 billion on factories, pipelines, and other infrastructure in the U.S. that will rely on shale gas, the American Chemistry Council announced in September. Construction is already underway at many sites.

This building spree would dramatically expand the Gulf Coast's petrochemical corridor (known locally as "Cancer Alley")—and establish a new plastics and petrochemical belt across states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Faced with a new state law that effectively criminalized peaceful protests of pipelines, activists have put their bodies and freedom on the line to oppose the Bayou Bridge project in Louisiana. L'eau Est La Vie Camp / Facebook

By Jessica Corbett

In a "major victory" for local landowners and pipeline activists who are fighting to block the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana, the company behind the project agreed to halt construction on a patch of private property just ahead of a court hearing that was scheduled for Monday morning.

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Coastal watches/warnings and forecast cone for Tropical Storm Gordon. The hurricane warning is in red. National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the north-central Gulf Coast this Tuesday evening, forecasts say.

The storm will bring heavy rainfall across a broad swath of the southern U.S. over the next few days, which could trigger "life-threatening" flash flooding, the National Weather Service said.

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Cherri Foytlin hangs up a sign about the Bayou Bridge pipeline resistance near the site of construction in Plaquemine, Louisana. Jen Marlowe

By Jen Marlowe

Chants of "St. James needs an evacuation route!" came from the dozen-plus activists gathered at Louisiana Radio Network on July 18. The activists were part of the L'Eau Est La Vie ("Water Is Life") camp, in Rayne, Louisiana. They want to stop the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana from St. Charles to St. James, through the Atchafalaya Basin.

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The 2,400-acre ExxonMobil petrochemical complex in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Kristen Lombardi / Center for Public Integrity

Exxon will pay millions to upgrade eight Gulf-area plants in a major settlement announced Tuesday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The oil giant's agreement to pay $300 million to outfit oil and gas plants in Texas and Louisiana with pollution-control technology follows allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act by releasing harmful pollutants at those plants. Exxon will also pay $2.5 million in fines.

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Oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Julie Dermansky

Last week, a pipe owned by offshore oil and gas operator LLOG Exploration Company, LLC spilled up to 393,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, reminding many observers of the Deepwater Horizon explosion seven years ago that spewed approximately 210 million gallons of crude into familiar territory.

Now, a report from Bloomberg suggests that the LLOG spill could be the largest in the U.S. since the 2010 BP blowout, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

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An oil rig exploded on Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana Sunday night, injuring seven crew members, with an eighth believed to be missing, authorities said.

The explosion was reported at 7:18 p.m. near St. Charles Parish and the city of Kenner. The platform, located in unincorporated Jefferson Parish, is owned by New Orleans-based Clovelly Oil Company.

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Michael Toledano

Thirteen Louisiana residents who live in the shadow of one of the most toxic factories in the country recently filed a lawsuit against the facility's co-owners, DuPont and Denka, in an attempt to stop or reduce the production of an air pollutant linked to serious health problems, including cancer.

The plaintiffs are currently seeking approval from a local judge to file a class action lawsuit that would allow anyone who has lived, worked or attended school within a defined boundary around the plant over the past five years to take legal action against the plant's owners.

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