Environmental Must-Reads – July 12, 2013


Fracking Wastewater Disposal Linked to Remotely Triggered Quakes

Fracking for oil and natural gas, and the underground disposal of wastewater that occurs in the process, has been linked to earthquakes in recent years. Now seismologists have discovered a new twist in that relationship, finding that wastewater injection can also contribute to temblors induced remotely by faraway seismic events.

Pumping water underground could trigger major earthquake, say scientists

Pumping water underground at geothermal power plants can lead to dangerous earthquakes even in regions not prone to tremors, according to scientists. They say that quake risk should be factored into decisions about where to site geothermal plants and other drilling rigs where water is pumped underground – for example in shale gas fracking.

Confirmed: Fracking Triggers Quakes and Seismic Chaos

Major earthquakes thousands of miles away can trigger reflex quakes in areas where fluids have been injected into the ground from fracking and other industrial operations, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.

Study raises new concern about earthquakes and fracking fluids

Powerful earthquakes thousands of miles (km) away can trigger swarms of minor quakes near wastewater-injection wells like those used in oil and gas recovery, scientists reported on Thursday, sometimes followed months later by quakes big enough to destroy buildings.

Democrats’ fracking regulations would force disclosure of chemicals used

Michigan House Democrats want to further regulate fracking, a controversial method of accessing natural gas.

They promoted a package of eight bills that would require the disclosure of chemicals injected into the ground for certain fracking operations before receiving a permit. The package would also allow local governments to control wells in their communities, create an advisory committee to study the side effects, increase the setback distance from residential areas and certain properties, and make other regulatory changes.

Colorado Governor Sues City of Longmont in Attempt to Overturn Ban on Fracking

Governor Hickenlooper’s state agency, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), has entered another lawsuit against the City of Longmont, this time attempting to undo the democratic vote of nearly 60 percent of Longmont residents to ban fracking, according to a statement by Our Longmont, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club and Earthworks.

EPA to Allow Consumption of Toxic Fracking Wastewater by Wildlife and Livestock

Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with the formal approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to public comments filed yesterday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to its own regulations, EPA is issuing permits for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in fluids used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them.

Fracking in Pennsylvania: What goes on behind the scenes?

Fracking has revolutionized the US energy landscape, but the technique is controversial. One energy blogger takes a tour of a fracking site for himself, to see what all the fuss is about.

More flammable water near Range Resources’ Parker County fracking well

I know you will be shocked, Dear Readers, but according to a new report by WFAA’s Brett Shipp (see video below), the Texas Railroad Commission did not apply its own Statewide Rule 13 in the Range Resources water contamination case in Parker County. They also ignored in their court hearing a violation they issued to Range.

Colorado Counties Want To Form 51st State To Avoid Environmental Protections

At least ten rural Colorado counties are taking aggressive steps to form a 51st state, saying their interests are not being met by moves to regulate the oil and gas industry, increase renewable energy, and better regulate guns. Organizers in Kansas and Nebraska are also interested in joining the state they call “North Colorado.”

Doctor’s Orders: Chemicals Need to Frack-off

Avoiding alcohol and caffeine are standard recommendations for a pregnant women. No surprise there! The simple and effective way of keeping infants safe is stripping the environment toxins that cause low birth weight, birth defects, respiratory problems, cancer and fertility problems. Yet the most common substances used to frack for natural gas are cancer-causing agents.

Fracking pushes U.S. oil output to highest since 1992

U.S. oil production jumped last week to the highest level since January 1992, cutting consumption of foreign fuel and putting the U.S. closer to energy independence.

Drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, pushed crude output up by 134,000 barrels, or 1.8 percent, to 7.401 million barrels a day in the seven days ended July 5, the Energy Information Administration said today.

Contentious oil spill claims set up BP for long legal battle

Faced with hundreds of damage claims it says are fictitious and inflated, BP must decide whether to dive into a protracted legal battle it had sought to avoid when it settled a class action over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

US government assessment of BP oil spill ‘will not account for damage’

The US government cannot hope to arrive at a full accounting of the environmental destruction caused by the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico using its current methods, an expert panel has said.

A report from the National Research Council said the US government’s efforts to put a price on damage from the April 2010 disaster failed to capture the full extent of the environmental and economic losses in Gulf waters and coastal areas, fisheries, marine life, and the deep sea caused by BP’s runaway well.

Leaner BP Blanches at Bill for Cleanup

Three years after its disastrous oil rig accident in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has managed to strengthen its finances by divesting itself of less profitable operations, ramping up new oil production in the North Sea and Angola and reducing its exposure to volatile investments in Russia.

Gulf oil spill settlement payment offers reach nearly $4B

As BP awaits an appeals court ruling over its challenge to the handling of its  Gulf oil spill class-action settlement, the administrator overseeing the program has offered another $400 million in payments to claimants in the last month alone, putting the total to date at nearly $4 billion.

Workers launch operation to kill leaking Gulf well

Workers began pumping drilling mud into a gas well 74 miles off the Louisiana coast on Thursday, in a bid to stop condensate leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

The operation began late Thursday afternoon, more than three days after a briny mix of gas, light condensate and salt water began flowing from the 40-year-old Energy Resource Technology well.

Arkansas tar-sands spill was an accident 60 years in the making

The pipeline spill that flooded Mayflower, Ark., with up to 290,000 gallons of tar-sands oil in March was an accident that had been waiting to happen — for more than 60 years.

Exxon cites manufacturing defect for Arkansas oil spill

Exxon Mobil announced today that it believes a manufacturing defect is the cause of the pipeline rupture that spilled nearly 300,000 gallons of tar sands oil in Mayflower, Arkansas.

Judge demands tech companies hand activist data over to Chevron

Hey kids, it’s a cool new update from your favorite horror show, The Surveillance State!

This week’s episode features multinational oil giant Chevron, 100+ activists, and basic American civil liberties. Who do you think might win?!

Chevron is attempting to defend itself against a pesky $18+ billion judgment for its dirty dealing in the Ecuador rainforest.

Quebec’s Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster not just tragedy, but corporate crime

Five days after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, the rural town resembles a scene of desolation. Its downtown is a charred sacrifice zone. 50 people are likely dead, making the train’s toll one of the worst disasters in recent Canadian history.

Fiery Quebec wreck adds to Washington state’s oil-train concerns

In the aftermath of Saturday’s train disaster in Quebec that killed some 50 people, state officials say they must now start planning for another scenario — oil tanker cars that blow up.

Canada rail crash stirs debate over Keystone XL pipeline delay

As Canadian investigators sift through the gruesome wreckage of an oil train derailment and explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec, the deadly crash has intensified a debate among environmentalists and energy-independence advocates as to whether it is safer to ship oil by rail or by pipeline.

Secrets, Lies, and Missing Data: New Twists in the Keystone XL Pipeline

Even if you haven’t been following the saga of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and haven’t decided if it’s a fast track to U.S. energy independence (those in favor) or “game over” for human civilization (those opposed, because of its role in climate change), yesterday’s developments are too rich to ignore. In fact, it may be game over for the Keystone XL—at least until 2016—thanks, once again, to U.S. State Department oversight.

Keystone XL Environmental Consultant ‘Lied’ About TransCanada Ties

The latest environmental assessment of the controversial TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is flawed because the contractor hired by the U.S. State Department to write the review “lied” on its conflict of interest disclosure form about its past work for TransCanada, finds research released Wednesday by two environmental groups.

Drilling protesters arrested after scaling London’s tallest tower (photos)

Environmentalists opposed to Arctic oil exploration scaled the tallest building in western Europe Thursday in a day-long climb that drew worldwide attention.

The quest on London’s 1,017-foot Shard tower unfolded before a global audience, courtesy of video streaming from cameras strapped to some of the six female climbers. Greenpeace employees gave a live play-by-play to about 10,000 viewers of the climbers’ trek up the glass-walled building that began at 4:20 a.m. local time.

Add comment

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

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This