News Round-Up: February 8, 2012

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Cuomo: Fracking Decision ‘Couple Months’ Away

A decision on whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York is “a couple of months” away, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

Frack, No: Vermont Looks North to Québec as It Considers a Ban on Natural-Gas Drilling

Want a piece of neighborly advice? Keep the frack out. That’s the word from Québecois residents who support Vermont’s possible three-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing — a controversial method of drilling for natural gas more colloquially known as fracking.

Erratic U.S. Oversight of Gas Fracking Cited by House Democrats

Oversight of drilling and hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on federal land is “erratic and inconsistent” and in a decade led to about $300,000 in fines, according to report released by U.S. House Democrats.

DEC: Much Work Needed on Fracking Regs

New York’s environment commissioner told lawmakers Tuesday that the proposed state budget doesn’t include money for regulating hydraulic fracturing because it’s uncertain when — or if — the natural gas drilling technology will be allowed in the state.

BP OIL SPILL:

BP Plans to Drill Deeper Than Ever

British energy company BP is exploring technology that would allow it to drill oil wells deeper than ever, the company’s chief executive said.

BP Won’t Face Some E-Mails in Gulf Spill Trial, Judge Says

Lawyers suing BP Plc (BP/) and other defendants over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill won’t be able to use several internal e-mails in the trial over fault for the incident, a judge said.

UC Berkeley Grad Student’s Research Spurred by Gulf Oil Spill

A graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, deeply influenced by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is helping to restore the Gulf’s blackened marshes with a project that could also aid threatened ecosystems nationwide, including in Northern California.

Gulf Coast Lawmakers: Time May Be Running Out for RESTORE Act

Members of Congress from the Gulf Coast, joined by local officials in Washington to push for an oil spill fine bill, worried Wednesday that time could be running short for legislation to send what could be billions of dollars in spill fines to the Gulf.

RADIATION:

Messages Show Conflict Within NRC After Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami

In the confusion following the earthquake and tsunami that damaged Japan’s Fukushima nuclear complex last March, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it was standing by to help.

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