Environmental Must-Reads – July 31, 2013


Hundreds Protest Radioactive Fracking Waste in Ohio

A coalition of local, statewide and national groups concerned about toxic waste from hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, converged on Portage and Trumbull counties yesterday for Don’t Frack Ohio 2.0. The coalition called for an end to the state being used as a regional dumping ground for oil and gas waste. The rally drew 250 participants in an area heavily targeted by the oil and gas industry for disposal of toxic radioactive drilling waste from fracking. The rally was held in Courthouse Square in Warren, OH, and faith leaders led participants in an interfaith service at a nearby impacted area following the rally.

PG&E’s CEO says tougher rules are needed on fracking

Highlighting varying views in the energy industry over one of the nation’s most controversial environmental issues, the head of California’s largest utility on Tuesday said that tougher rules are needed on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a position advocated by environmental groups.

State forest fracking plan halted, for now

A federal agency’s plan to open Blue Rock State Forest to fracking was put on hold yesterday after state officials said they didn’t know about it.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management had planned a Dec. 12 public auction to lease 4,525 acres of mineral rights beneath the 4,578-acre state forest and two townships in Muskingum County.

Fracking the nation: the dash for gas beneath rural Britain

With inland gas reserves said to be enough to meet the UK’s needs for 25 years, even the most picturesque of places are being eyed up by prospectors

Fracking can take place in ‘desolate’ north-east England, Tory peer says’

Fracking should be carried out in the “desolate” north-east of England, a former Conservative energy adviser has said, prompting criticism and claims the remarks highlighted the party’s “problem with the north”.

Arrogance fuels fracking anger, some experts say

The boom in oil and gas fracking has led to jobs, billions in royalties and profits, and even some environmental gains.

But some experts say arrogance, a lack of transparency and poor communication on the part of the drilling industry have helped fuel public anger over the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Could Fracking Finally Kill Off Rural America?

Gasland 2, the sequel to Josh Fox’s documentary about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, introduces a frightening image.

Mohican advocates eye forest fracking decision

While many Ohio conservation groups were surprised Tuesday by the news that a federal agency intends to open up a state forest in eastern Ohio to fracking exploration, local environmentalists aren’t letting up their guard concerning Mohican State Park and Mohican-Memorial State Forest.

Legislation Introduced to Eliminate Fracking Industry Loophole

Fracking is now responsible for 90 percent of domestic oil and gas production, with thousands of wells popping up across the nation. The number of wells is expected to skyrocket during the next two decades.

Stop the Fracking Flaring! New Study: Bakken Shale Flaring Burns Nearly One-Third of Natural Gas Drilled

As Philadelphia’s processing of Bakken Shale crude oil has expanded to 44,000 barrels a day, brought in by train, our region is now directly involved in a major ongoing, and escalating, climate crime. Like most crimes, it carries an enormous economic cost as well.

Reuters reports, in a story framed exclusively by the issue of economic waste, that the vast flaring (burning; wasting; spewing CO2 directly into the atmosphere) of shale gas in North Dakota has reached a staggering 266 billion cubic feet per day.

Silenced Critic of Dimock’s Water Problems Switches to Air Pollution Concerns

One of Dimock’s most outspoken critics of gas drilling in Northeast Pennsylvania says she has shifted gears and changed tactics by networking with industry. Victoria Switzer says she wants to persuade drillers to use the best available technologies that reduce air emissions beyond current regulatory requirements.

Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the size of Connecticut

The dead zone that has formed in the Gulf of Mexico this summer is smaller than predicted, but is still larger than average, spanning an area roughly the size of Connecticut. This zone, an area without oxygen and almost completely devoid of life that crops up every summer, covers 5,840 square miles (15,125 square kilometers), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Gulf Oil Spill Haunts BP With $42.4 Billion Bill

British energy giant BP admitted on Tuesday that its $20 billion (15 billion euro) fund to compensate victims of the 2010 US oil spill disaster has almost run out of cash.

BP Prepares For Long Fight In Civil Oil Spill Trial –CEO

BP PLC (BP.LN) is less likely to negotiate a settlement in a civil trial to determine environmental fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in the wake of spiraling costs from a separate deal clinched last year to compensate businesses for losses stemming from the disaster, the company’s chief executive said Tuesday.

Dudley Says BP Gulf Spill Settlement Unlikely as Costs Rise

BP Plc (BP/) Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said it’s unlikely Europe’s second-biggest oil company will reach a settlement with the U.S. over the Gulf of Mexico disaster as provisions set aside to pay for the spill rose.

BP braced for legal long-haul as spill payouts leap

BP is digging in for a long legal battle over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Tuesday after compensation costs soared for a second straight quarter.

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.

Gulf Oil Spill Haunts BP With $42.4 Billion Bill

Adam Johnson reports on the cleanup cost of the BP Gulf oil spill on Bloomberg Television’s “Lunch Money.”

Thailand’s Koh Samet beach oil spill ‘threatens tourism, fishing industries’

An oil spill that prompted evacuations from one of Thailand’s most popular tourist spots threatens the country’s tourism and fishing industries, Thailand’s deputy prime minister has warned, amid concerns about the long-term effects of the leak.

Thai tourist paradise wrecked by oil spill

What could be lovelier than a vacation at Thailand’s Coconut Bay?

Right now, just about anything.

Thousands of gallons of crude gushed from a ruptured pipeline into the Gulf of Thailand over the weekend, blackening shorelines that had recently been bustling with tourists. Some beaches have been closed; others have simply been deserted.

Enbridge begins fresh clean-up on 2010 Michigan oil spill

Enbridge Energy Partners LP has begun a new round of dredging on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan, to clean up oil from a huge pipeline spill in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday.

Exxon Mobil puts off discussion of pipe under Ark. Lake

ExxonMobil Corp. says it wants an investigation into a March oil spill in a Mayflower neighborhood to wrap up before it opens discussions about a pipeline’s path below a watershed that provides drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people in central Arkansas.

CAW responds to Exxon letter

The Watershed Protection Manager for Central Arkansas Water says he is not deterred by a letter recently sent to the agency by Exxon Mobil. The letter made it clear that the company does plan to eventually restart the Pegasus pipeline.

Boozman, Pryor and Griffin push feds to release Mayflower spill reports

Sens. John Boozman and Mark Pryor and Rep. Tim Griffin have requested that the federal agency that regulates pipelines make information related to the Pegasus pipeline and the spill public. Their letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is on the jump.

Mobile City Council endorses resolution opposing oil pipeline through drinking water source

The Mobile City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday that opposes the construction of an oil pipeline through the city’s largest drinking water supply.

Obama Slammed by Keystone Pipeline Supporters for Jobs Comments

President Barack Obama took some energy industry experts by surprise when he remarked that the Keystone XL pipeline project awaiting State Department approval wouldn’t do much for job creation during an interview with The New York Times.

Lamar County landowner appeals TransCanada pipeline

On Tuesday both TransCanada and those representing the Crawford family argued whether the company has eminent domain rights for the land used for the pipeline.

Keystone XL tar sands pipeline does not pass President’s climate test

This weekend President Obama reaffirmed his decision to evaluate the permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline “based on whether or not it is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere.” Keystone XL clearly fails the President’s climate test. There is little question that tar sands is more carbon intensive than conventional crude. Both the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have concluded that from the tar sands mine to the gas tank, tar sands emissions are 81 percent greater than conventional oil. Keystone XL, as the largest of the proposed tar sands pipelines and farthest along in its permitting process, is the linchpin for the tar sands industry’s reckless expansion plans. An accounting of Keystone XL’s climate impact by NRDC shows that approving the tar sands pipeline would add 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon pollution to the atmosphere over the 50-year lifespan of the project. That makes the pipeline’s climate impact comparable to some of the most significant and ambitious emissions reduction programs underway in the United States, such as the fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks or the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The President is right to consider Keystone XL on its climate impact – and in so doing, he has set a bar for approval which Keystone XL does not pass.

McCarthy: EPA will be ‘honest commenter’ on Keystone XL pipeline review

New Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy said the agency will provide more input on the administration’s Keystone XL pipeline review but did not say whether she believes the project would worsen climate change.

Her remarks Tuesday follow President Obama’s late June pledge that he would not approve Keystone unless he’s sure it won’t “significantly exacerbate” carbon pollution on a “net” basis.

With no room to grow, Canadian town evicts oil sands companies

The Canadian town of Fort McMurray is booming largely thanks to the nearby oil sands industry. Now the town needs more housing and infrastructure and has nowhere to put it, so its taking back the land it has leased to oil companies.

Battles over oil have long defined Arctic politics

This is the time of year when oil wars once raged in the Arctic. Or at least they did 400 years ago when the oil came not from the ground but from the fat of the bowhead whale.

Japanese utility, and the public, in dark about crippled nuclear plant

Two and a half years after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, the operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima plant faces a daunting array of unknowns.

Why the plant intermittently emits steam; how groundwater seeps into its basement; whether fixes to the cooling system will hold; how nearby groundwater is contaminated by radioactive matter; how toxic water ends up in the sea and how to contain water that could overwhelm the facility’s storage tanks.

Fukushima fallout hits farmers

Life for Yoshihiro Watanabe and his wife Mutsuko, mushroom and rice farmers from Fukushima, has changed drastically since the disastrous meltdowns in the Dai Ichi nuclear plant that was hit by a massive tsunami after a 9.0 strong earthquake struck on March 11, 2011.

“Dangerous levels of radiation from the crippled nuclear reactors have effectively forced us to stop our mushroom cultivation and reduced our farming income almost 80%,” Watanabe told IPS.

Radio: Fukushima Daiichi has “contaminated the biggest body of water on the planet”

Last Tuesday’s revelation that the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is leaking contaminated water into the ocean and that the Japanese government has known about the spillage, confirms the fears of independent experts. Wayne looks at the aftermath of the disaster.

Beach near Fukushima nuclear plant is a sliver of normalcy

Every day, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., a part-time worker at one of Fukushima’s most well-known beaches walks toward the shoreline and lowers a dosimeter to the water. The device measures radiation, and its readings this summer have delivered the best news that one can hope for 40 miles south of a still-leaking nuclear plant:

The levels are normal.

Fife nuclear veteran denied information on radiation

A Christmas Island veteran from Fife has been denied access to information about the levels of radiation received by New Zealand research ships during nuclear testing in the 1950s because it “may harm international relations” between the UK and New Zealand.

More radiation monitoring problems found at Vt. Yankee

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant had two more malfunctions of its radiation monitors on the plant’s refueling floor last week, for a total of four erroneous readings that radiation had exceeded safe standards within the building.

Release of nuclear plant ‘effluents’ into lake described as part of normal cycle

The May 5 release of about 80 gallons of slightly radioactive water from the Palisades nuclear power plant into Lake Michigan was unusual because it wasn’t planned.

But the incident brought into focus what many Southwest Michigan residents likely didn’t realize: The region’s two nuclear power plants (Palisades and the Donald C. Cook Plant in Lake Township) routinely discharge radioactive material into the air and into Lake Michigan.

Mobile phone tower is causing health problems, say Juhu society residents

Though we’ve seen advancement in mobile technologies by leaps and bounds, some areas of concern, like the effect they may have on human life, have taken a backseat. The most recent report by MumbaiMirror reveals that residents of Galaxy Heaven society in Juhu have been suffering from contant headaches, hearing problems and nausea due to the exposure to radiation.The 10-storey building’s terrace has at least half-a-dozen mobile phone towers and 18 antennae. Leading the fight with BMC is celebrity resident Sukhwinder Singh who owns two floors in the Galaxy Heaven building.

Cell Phone Radiation Lawsuit News: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes New Study Linking Heavy Cell Phone Use to an Increased Risk of Cancer

Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a law firm representing consumers in cell phone radiation lawsuits (http://www.consumerinjurylawyers.com/cell-phone-radiation-lawsuit.html), notes that a new study conducted in Israel has found a possible link between heavy cell phone use and an increased cancer risk. According to a July 30th report from the Times of Isreal, the study compared saliva in both heavy cell phone users and non-users, and found that heavy cell phone use was linked to signs of heavy oxidant stress. According to the authors of the study, which was published in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, heavy oxidative stress is associated with the types of cellular and genetic mutations which may cause tumors to develop.*

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