News Round-Up: July 25, 2011

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Steve Israel: Summer Camps Leasing Land for Drilling

Farmers do it. So do hunting camps. Now, the owners of some of the region’s other huge swaths of undeveloped land — summer camps — are doing it too: leasing their property for gas drilling.

Editorial: A Fracking Scandal on Our Back Doorstep

John Pfahlert, executive officer of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association, via his Letter to the Editor (Monday, 18 July) paternalistically assures Taranaki residents that the industry does “everything possible” to ensure groundwater is adequately protected. Does that fill you with confidence? Not me.

NSW Extends Moratorium on Fracking for Coal Seam Gas

New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state said it is extending until the end of the year a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, to extract natural gas from coal seams.

Fracking the Marcellus Shale

Drilling in places like north-central Texas (the Barnett Shale), northwest Louisiana and deep east Texas (the Haynesville Shale), and Oklahoma (the Woodford Shale), may come at significant environmental cost, particularly in terms of water pollution.

BP OIL SPILL:

CSI Macondo: Fingerprinting the Oil That Got Away

Unlike the blown out Macondo well, scientific data surrounding last year’s oil spill has been coming out in a painfully slow trickle.

BP Oil Cleanup – Crews Prep for Oil Work in Pascagoula

Oil cleanup crews for BP PLC are scheduled to begin preparing a staging area in Pascagoula today in advance of a return to the barrier islands off Jackson County once they are cleared to do so by the National Parks Service, a spokesman said.

BP Oil-Spill Victims Accuse Claims Fund of ‘Coercive Tactics’ in Payouts

BP Plc is using “coercive tactics” to force victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to agree to final settlements with its claims fund, lawyers suing the company said.

LabBits: News from the Marine Biological Laboratory

More than a year since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank, leaking nearly five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, questions still linger as to the potential effect the oil may be having on the Gulf ecosystem and human health.

RADIATION:

Sticking With Nuclear Could Be Costlier Japan Option

Can Japan afford to go nuclear-power-free? The country’s atomic power industry and many big business clients say “No”, arguing the step would boost electricity bills and pollution and hasten the hollowing out of Japanese manufacturing. But the Fukushima nuclear disaster is galvanising a coalition of safety-conscious voters and future-minded companies who increasingly believe that Japan cannot afford to stick with the status quo if it wants to be globally competitive.

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