News Round-Up: February 10, 2012

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Study Raises Fears About Fracking’s Impact On Animals

Fears about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have been emerging for several years, but now a new concern has been added to the list with a growing number of farmers reporting mysterious symptoms among livestock and pets, according to Bloomberg.

Lawmakers Try Again On Fracking Ban In N.J.

The New Jersey Legislature took another step Thursday in its continuing efforts to enact a permanent ban on fracking for natural gas within the state.

Gas Price Fall Sees BG Slash Fracking In US

BG Group is dramatically scaling back plans to employ the controversial practice of “fracking” for shale gas in the US.

Chesapeake Energy Fined $565,000 for Pennsylvania Violations

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the biggest leaseholder in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, was fined $565,000 by state officials for environmental violations, including an April incident in which hydraulic fracturing fluids entered a local creek.

BP OIL SPILL:

BP’s Past Accidents Barred as Evidence at First Gulf Spill Trial

BP Plc (BP/) persuaded a judge to bar the introduction of evidence of previous accidents involving the oil company from this month’s trial over fault for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico blast and oil spill.

Cuban Oil: Country’s Ambitions Endanger Florida Coral Reefs and Coast

Cuba’s fledgling oil industry has for the first time dropped an offshore rig into the waters off the Florida Keys, a move that has U.S. officials and environmentalists warning that the island nation’s energy ambitions could come at the expense of the ecologically sensitive region at the tip of the Florida Peninsula.

BP’s Blemished Safety Record is Off-Limits in Trial, Judge Rules

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against BP over damages from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill won’t be allowed to bring up the oil giant’s spotty past safety record, including a major accident in Texas City, Texas, nor will they be allowed to use the contents of a series of reports on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday.

Taylor Oil Spill: 7 Years, 1.1 Million Gallons, Still Going

Today SkyTruth released our Site 23051 Cumulative Spill Report showing our estimation of the total cumulative amount of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico at the site of Taylor Energy’s ongoing oil spill that began in 2004. In this report, we conclude: 1) Crude oil has been leaking continuously from this site for more than 7 years. 2) Estimated cumulative volume of crude oil spilled is between 251,677 and 1,174,492 gallons.

RADIATION:

U.S. Approves First Nuclear Plant In Decades

The US approved its first new nuclear power reactors in decades on Thursday, despite objections from the country’s top regulator that safety issues raised by last year’s Fukushima meltdown were not fully addressed.

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