News Round-Up: March 5, 2012

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Government, Envirogroups, Experts, Exploration Companies Debate Fracking

Bloomberg reports that a study commissioned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) about the potential of shale gas is biased, according to environmental group Treasure the Karoo Action Group.

EPA Testing in Dimock, Pa., Feeds Drilling Debate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s testing of scores of water wells will give residents of a small northeastern Pennsylvania village a snapshot of the aquifer they rely on for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Ontario County Seeks Legal Advice On Model Fracking Law

Ontario County is seeking outside legal counsel to draft a model local law it pledged last year to provide its localities in their efforts to control or ban potential hydrofracking operations.

Can the Shale Gas Boom Save Ohio?

he help-wanted sign is out in Canton, Ohio, for Chesapeake Energy. The company that has led the charge in shale gas drilling is looking for truck drivers with licenses for hazardous materials, a purchasing coordinator for oil field equipment, a pipeline technician, a field safety coordinator, administrative assistants, troubleshooting electricians, a tax analyst and more.

BP OIL SPILL:

BP Settles Amid Its ‘Ongoing Gulf of Mexico Massacre’

BP reaching a settlement Friday with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), subject to final written agreement, to resolve most of the legitimate economic loss and medical claims stemming from the ongoing oil-related catastrophe that began in April 2010, was not welcomed news to human rights defenders including those who attended the Gulf Funeral in New Orleans Wednesday.  Now that the PSC, that acts on behalf of individual and business plaintiffs in the Multi-District Litigation proceedings pending in New Orleans (MDL 2179), reached a settlement, human rights defenders say a full investigation of the ongoing alleged crime against humanity, a “Gulf massacre,” is unlikely.

Deepwater Oil Drilling Picks Up Again as BP Disaster Fades

Nearly two years after an explosion on an oil platform killed 11 workers and sent millions of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, deepwater drilling has regained momentum in the gulf and is spreading around the world.

Former BP Executive Tony Hayward was Grilled on Past Safety Record, Oil Spill Deposition Shows

BP has taken the unusual step of releasing portions of potentially embarrassing pretrial deposition testimony by former CEO Tony Hayward to back up its complaint that attorneys representing those filing suit against the company over the Gulf oil spill are intent on violating an order by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier prohibiting use of testimony about past BP accidents in the delayed first phase of the trial.

BP Case Shifts to Pollution Fines That May Top $17B (VIDEO)

Bloomberg’s Megan Hughes reports that BP Plc may face as much as $17.6 billion in civil pollution fines and possibly billions of dollars more in criminal penalties as its settlement with businesses and individuals harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill shifts the focus to government claims. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Inside Track.” (Source: Bloomberg)

RADIATION:

Daunting Challenge of Fukushima Clean-up

The work is anything but sophisticated: conventional gardening tools, brush cutters, rakes and brooms are used to move the topsoil ready to be bagged up and taken to the dump site.

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