News Round-Up: December 14, 2011

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Poisoned Water, Endangered Turtles: The Shell-Shocking Effects of Fracking

On Dec. 8, for the first time, federal environmental experts linked underground water pollution with fracking, reports ProPublica. The gas drilling method – also known as hydraulic fracturing – caused contaminants found in central Wyoming. And now, said the New York Times, fracking may have been linked to earthquakes as well.

Colorado OKs Toughest Fracking Fluid Rules in U.S.

After hearing more than 11 hours of testimony in a meeting last week, Colorado regulators Tuesday approved tough new rules governing chemicals used in the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing. Also known as “fracking,” hydraulic fracturing is a process whereby a slurry of water, sand and chemicals are pumped into a well at very high pressure to force natural gas out of shale rock formations. The new rules require companies to publicly disclose the chemicals—and their concentrations—found in the fracking fluid.

Fracking Has Formerly Stable Ohio City Aquiver Over Spate of Earthquakes

Earthquakes weren’t recorded around Youngstown until D&L Energy Inc. began injecting wastewater from drilling into a 9,300-foot disposal well in December 2010. From March through Nov. 25, there were nine in an area of about 4.5 square miles west of the shaft, according to the state-coordinated Ohio Seismic Network.

Fresh Fracking Furore

A new environmental impact report by the US Environmental Protection Agency finding that hydraulic fracturing – known as “fracking” – in Wyoming was the likely source of contamination of groundwater appears not to have put a damper on interest in extracting shale gas in the Karoo.

BP OIL SPILL:

BP Well Blowout Showed Oil Industry Is Not Set Up For Safety, Scientist Panel Finds

The offshore oil and gas industry is too fractured and compartmentalized to safely manage complex deepwater wells like BP’s ill-fated Macondo, according to a third investigative report into the causes of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The National Academy of Engineering report released Wednesday hewed closely to the findings of other government-authorized investigations by a joint Coast Guard-Interior Department Marine Board panel and by a presidential commission, repeating well-worn findings about mistaken test results, cut corners and a series of bad decisions that alone may not have caused a blowout, but compounded to create the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Dispersants Used in BP Gulf Oil Spill Linked to Cancer

Five of the 57 ingredients in dispersants approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on oil spills are linked to cancer, finds a new research report based on data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by environmental groups on the Gulf of Mexico.

Report: Restoration Investment Would Create Jobs

With Congress poised to consider a bill that could dedicate billions from BP oil-spill fines to coastal-restoration projects in the Gulf Coast, a new study says those projects could create jobs and launch a cutting-edge environmental business in Louisiana.

Cameron Appeals BP Gulf Spill Trial Plan, Wants Case Before Jury

Cameron International Corp. (CAM) told a federal appeals court its right to a jury trial would be infringed under a plan to have a judge determine which companies should be blamed for the 2010 BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

RADIATION:

Fukushima Evacuations Too Late Outside No-Go Zone

Some residents near the Fukushima No. 1 plant might have been exposed to up to 19 millisieverts of radiation during the first four months of the nuclear crisis, the Fukushima Prefectural Government said Tuesday.

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