Environmental Must-Reads – April 22, 2013


California is new fracking battleground

The home of the Hollywood liberals is the nation’s newest battleground on fracking.

California is the latest state to embark on a fierce debate over whether and how to regulate the oil- and gas-extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing — a controversy already roiling politics in rural Pennsylvania and inspiring an endless soap opera in New York state.

Fracking for Natural Gas Fuels Health Worries

The boom in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas raises medical worries for a number of female health activists and researchers. “We need comprehensive studies to assess long-term problems,” says public health professor Madelon Finkel.

Fracking drives potentially explosive demand for potentially explosive ammonia factories

The U.S. could soon be home to a lot more ammonia factories — not a comforting thought after a deadly explosion at an ammonia fertilizer plant in Texas on Wednesday evening. You can blame the fracking boom.

“Fracking” Could Be Decided in Lawsuit

Oklahoma shook from at least five earthquakes April 16th, with those earthquakes coming less than 18 months after a record 5.6 quake destroyed more than a dozen homes and hurt two people. Scientists are now looking at why they’re increasing, with ‘Fracking’ becoming a growing concern.

Mexico Lacks Water to Frack for Shale Gas

Mexico plans to expand shale gas exploration this year, but it could run into a shortage of water, which is essential to hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the method used to capture natural gas from shale rocks.

“In Mexico there isn’t enough water. Where are they going to get it to extract shale gas?” Professor Miriam Grunstein at the Centre for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) remarked in an interview with IPS.

Resource dries up: Awash in water woes | Interactive database

As summer looms over San Angelo, the unrelenting drought mixed with a nebulous population growth could make the perfect storm — one without any rain.

“Drought is a fact of life in Texas, especially in West Texas,” said David Maidment, professor at the Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. “The drought of 2011 continues — we don’t know when it’ll end.”

Bill Moyers: A Mother’s War Against Toxic Trespassers

BILL MOYERS: Welcome.This week in the streets of Boston, we were reminded once again that civilization is too often a thin veneer stretched across the passions of the human heart, with those who would commit acts of violence trying to disrupt and even destroy the fragile commons we call society. Fortunately, there are people who will not be deterred from the work of civilization, who will even from time to time go up against authority in peaceful disobedience, taking a nonviolent stand for a greater good. People like Sandra Steingraber, my guest.

Investors drill down on the harmful consequences of fracking

Fracking is expanding across the US but, with increasing reports of spills and leaks, investors are asking fracking companies to measure their impact on environment and health

Analysis: BP’s legal gamble may trim spill bill by billions

BP Plc’s attempt to get a U.S. federal court to pin at least a sizeable amount of the blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster on other companies may have saved it billions of dollars.

What BP Doesn’t Want You to Know About the 2010 Gulf Spill

“It’s as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.” That’s what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the “floating hotel” where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn’t work.

Fla. AG Pam Bondi suing BP on anniversary of oil spill

On the three-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Saturday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will file a lawsuit against BP. The state’s lawsuit, to be filed in Panama City, will name defendants BP and Halliburton. This comes ahead of the three-year statute of limitations under the Oil Pollution Act, ensuring the state can recover economic losses resulting from the oil spill.

Florida Sues BP Over Gulf Oil Spill

The state of Florida filed a lawsuit Saturday against the oil company BP and the cement contractor Halliburton over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, becoming the fourth state to seek damages for the 2010 disaster.

Mayor says Alabama coastal island still recovering 3 years after BP oil spill

A barrier island on the Alabama coast is still recovering three years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier says the town’s economy has yet to return to what it was before the spill.

Lack of basic research cripples scientists when assessing toll of BP oil spill on Gulf’s natural system

Three years after the BP oil spill, scientists are left scratching their heads when asked if populations of sea creatures in the Gulf of Mexico have returned to normal.

US witness claims BP gas explosion cover-up

Just off the coast of the US state of Texas, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform blew up exactly three years ago.

Vast amounts of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, causing one of the biggest-ever environmental catastrophes.

Video has now emerged that energy giant BP never wanted shown, and there have been accusations of a cover-up.

More Than a Pipe Dream

The anti-Keystone movement was never just about blocking a pipeline. It aimed to awaken a new environmental movement—and it’s already succeeded.

Earth Day 2013: Say No to KXL Tar Sands Pipeline

Today is Earth Day and, barring any last minute change, it’s also the final day the public can send the State Department our comments on the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

APNewsBreak: Feds Halt Funding for $361M Pipeline

Federal officials temporarily stopped funding a $361 million water pipeline for a Native American reservation in Montana after learning that millions of project dollars were missing and a Chippewa Cree leader in charge of the project steered federal dollars to a company he owns.

Portland pipeline at center of fierce fight in Maine

Over seven decades, the Portland pipeline has propelled some 5 billion gallons of crude oil across the mountains and beneath the pristine waters of northern New England to refineries in Quebec.

Aside from a few small spills years ago, the 236-mile-long colossus of steel pipes and powerful pumping stations boasts a sterling record. In the upcountry towns through which it passes, the underground pipeline has drawn little ­notice since it was constructed in 1941.

Until now.

Seismic activity halts work at sinkhole

Work at the massive Assumption Parish sinkhole was stopped Sunday after scientists detected seismic activity in the area, parish officials said.

Scientists noticed several instances of subsurface activity early Sunday morning in the area around and below the sinkhole, according to a blog posted on the Internet by the Assumption Parish Police Jury.

Bubbles in the ice

Ancient ice cores, drilled from the thickest glaciers in the Arctic, allow you to examine the atmosphere from thousands of years ago when the ice was last water, by analysing the gases contained in the bubbles trapped in the ice. It’s the carbon content scientists are particularly interested  in – they’re looking for carbon bubbles, and they’re willing to go to the ends of the earth, quite literally, to find them.

Norway’s ruling party backs oil drilling around Arctic islands

Norway took a major step towards opening up an environmentally sensitive Arctic area to oil and gas exploration when the ruling Labour Party gave the go-ahead on Sunday for an impact study.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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