News Round-Up: April 11, 2012

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

It’s Time To Frack the Innovation System

The shale gas R&D projects assumed a kind of vacuum. The only criteria were technical feasibility and economic profitability, and the innovators failed to consider questions about how the technologies would play out in the real world. What is the long-term fate of the chemicals that remain underground? What do we do with the toxic mixture of fracking fluids and naturally occurring radioactive materials that flows back up the wellbore during drilling and production? How will roads handle the increase in traffic volume that results from the roughly 1,000 truck trips (hauling fracking fluids and waste water) it takes to get each well producing?

Most in U.S. Still Unfamiliar with Hydraulic Fracturing, UT Survey Says

More than six in 10 Americans either haven’t heard of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” or say they’re unfamiliar with it, according to a new online survey by latest University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll released today. But among the 32 percent who say they’re familiar with the process, used to boost production of oil and natural gas from shale and other hard-to-produce underground formations, 60 percent favor more regulation or think existing regulations need to be better enforced.

Fracking Controversy Goes On As Pennsylvania Family Calls Water Tests ‘A False Reading’

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced late last year that it was going to test water samples from dozens of homes in Dimock, Pa. Craig and Julie Sautner thought they finally had their chance to be heard.

Environmentalists Ask DEC Employees to Blow the Whistle on Fracking Decisions

Environmental advocacy group Frack Action held a protest outside the Department of Environmental Conservation’s headquarters in Albany Tuesday to urge state officials to speak out about a controversial natural gas drilling technique, hydraulic fracturing.

BP OIL SPILL:

Two Years After Gulf Disaster: “The Spill Is Not Over”

Two years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, researchers are just beginning to gauge its long-term impact, according to a just-released National Wildlife Federation report.

Gulf Still in Jeopardy after BP Oil Spill (VIDEO)

This is a best guess report since a lot of the facts and figures are still tied up in the legal case against BP but according to the National Wildlife Federation this report card on the state of the gulf coast environment after the spill is not good.

Congress, Make Shell Spill Ketchup in the Arctic Before They Drill

Why isn’t the U.S. government telling Shell: “You can only drill in the Chukchi or Beaufort Seas AFTER you prove you can clean up a spill.”

House, Interior Spar Over Drilling Subpoena

The House Natural Resources Committee balked Tuesday night at the Interior Department’s efforts to comply with a GOP subpoena over a 2010 report on the deepwater drilling moratorium imposed after the BP oil spill.

RADIATION:

American Nuclear Society Report on Fukushima: “Human Error, Flaws in Governance and Oversight Contributed to the Severity of the Accident”

On Friday, March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes in the recorded history of the world occurred on the east coast of northern Japan. This earthquake also generated a major tsunami, causing nearly 20,000 deaths. Electricity, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, and railway service were all severely disrupted and in many cases completely shut down. These disruptions severely affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a loss of all on-site and off-site power and a release of radioactive materials from the reactors.

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