News Round-Up: March 20, 2012

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Fracking’s Health And Environmental Impacts Greater Than Claimed

The natural gas industry defends hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, as safe and efficient. Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, a pro-industry non-profit organization, claims fracking has been “a widely deployed as safe extraction technique,” dating back to 1949. What he doesn’t say is that until recently energy companies had used low-pressure methods to extract natural gas from fields closer to the surface than the current high-pressure technology that extracts more gas, but uses significantly more water, chemicals, and elements.

Fracking, Cracking, Stinky Water, and Earthquakes?

Fracking in California not a healthy trend. Learn how natural gas drilling is affecting your local rivers and clean water. Check out the article, Sacramento Natural Gas Storage. What about hydraulic fracturing of rock to extract oil?

Some Question Reliability of State’s $100K Fracking Study

This week community members will get their first opportunity to publicly comment on the state’s draft study of natural gas removal — or the controversial process known as fracking.

Environmental Chemist Wilma Subra on the Barnett Shale Bonanza and Its Costs

?By 2008, the high price of natural gas, coupled with the novel combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, touched off a modern-day gold rush in the Barnett Shale. Regulators were caught on their heels.

BP OIL SPILL:

Keystone Pipeline Will Spill, Study Predicts

Republicans have sought to frame the Keystone XL pipeline as a job-creating project being thwarted by “radical environmentalists.” Is it? A new Cornell University study claims that the pipeline could actually have a negative impact on the economies of the states it would pass through.

BP, GAP’s Back-and-Forth on Resource Manual Warning of Safety Risks

GAP has been conducting an investigation into the cover up of medical problems associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill since last fall. We are working with over 25 whistleblowers involving public health and safety threats that sharply contrast with BP and government denials and reassurances.

Doctor Says Symptoms of Gulf War Illness and Oil Spill Illness Are ‘Identical’

A bayou detoxification program is helping ill coastal residents, many of whom lack health insurance nearly 2 years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. By most accounts the treatments have helped, and thanks to donors they are free.

NYT: BP Settlement, Milestone for Some Victims, a Setback for Others

Denise Spivacke Haralson and her husband, Larry, figured that they almost had their money. They had settled Mr. Haralson’s claims against BP for the losses he suffered as a construction worker in the economic slump after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

RADIATION:

DIY Geiger Counter Smartphone App Helps Measure Radiation

Out of awful events sometimes the better side of human nature emerges… We previously highlighted – see How to build your own Geiger Counter – the work of some engineers at Libelium, a wireless sensor network company, to help the people of Japan, around Fukushima, determine levels of radiation for themselves.

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