Environmental Must-Reads – May 10, 2013


Libous Should Refrain From N.Y. Fracking Vote, Coalition Says

New York Water Rangers, a coalition of 10 environmental groups, is calling on state Senator Tom Libous to recuse himself from fracking deliberations after his ties to a real estate company with a natural-gas lease were disclosed.

Fracking Water Use Draining Resources, Especially In Western U.S., New Studies Find

The natural gas extraction technique known as fracking uses so much water that it could threaten groundwater resources, especially in the Western U.S., two new reports conclude.

Colorado Springs group sues to ban fracking

A group of Colorado Springs residents is suing the city in hopes of eventually banning oil and gas drilling, including hydraulic fracturing, within city limits.

Fracking debate stirs in U.S. House

The U.S. government has an obligation to ensure that oil and natural gas deposits are developed responsibly, a natural resource advocate testified.

The House Natural Resources Committee had an oversight hearing on regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing.

Forest Service Seeks to Silence Smokey the Bear Over Fracking

Smokey the Bear thought he smelled a fire in the woods. But as he approached the clearing and saw a giant derrick jutting out into the sky, he realized that what his nose had picked up was the scent of hydrocarbons. It was another piece of evidence that the increasingly widespread method of oil and gas extraction known as fracking was poisoning the environment that he and his human friends depend on. He decided something must be done.

Massive Boost to Bakken Output Expected by Drilling Wells Closer Together

The leading operators working in the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota are hoping to drastically increase the volume of recoverable oil by billions of barrels, just by drilling wells closer together.

California Postpones Oil, Gas Lease Auctions

California’s Monterey Shale is continuing to be the talk of the industry after the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced plans to postpone upcoming federal lease auctions in the state. The prolific play, that holds more shale oil than anywhere else in the country, has the potential to pull the state out of its downward debt spiral but has been caught in a tug of war between proponents and environmentalists since the shale boom occurred in the nation.

Fracking Activists Could Face Felony Charges as “Ag-Gag” Laws Spread

The same “Ag-Gag” laws that make it a crime to film or document egregious abuses on industrial farms may soon be used to criminalize anti-fracking activists who seek to expose environmental harms brought on by the gas drilling industry—if a bill recently proposed in Pennsylvannia passes.

BC LNG Exports Blow Climate Targets Way, Way Out of the Water

Methane leaks from British Columbia’s natural gas industry are likely at least 7 times greater than official numbers increasing the entire provinces’ carbon footprint by nearly 25%. That’s like putting 3 million more vehicles on BC’s roads.

“Study: More fracking health concerns than previously thought”

The academic, scientific and public health authorities often move with agonizing slowness where industrial threats to public health are concerned. One rabid bat will get a much swifter, more complete, expensive and dramatic response from public health authorities, typically, compared to large-scale threats to public health emerging from industry.

35 Arrested Protesting Frac-Sand Mining Facilities

On April 29, more than 100 people shut down silica sand mining operations simultaneously at two facilities in the city of Winona, MN. Thirty-five concerned citizens were arrested and cited on trespass charges. One woman was held and transferred to Hennepin County because of a previous action against silica sand mining. All others were released with a future court date. It was, to date, the largest protest against frac-sand mining.

Chevron plans to start Romania shale gas exploration

U.S. oil major Chevron said on Thursday it plans to start exploration for shale gas in Romania, where the government has sounded increasingly amenable to allowing mining by fracking.

Frack sand opponents count on fish amendment

Environmentalists are counting on a game and fish amendment as their last, best chance this legislative session to control frack sand mining in Minnesota.

Chevron wins suit against U.S. over California oil field

Chevron Corp. (CVX) is entitled to unspecified damages against the federal government in a contract dispute over oil deposits in California worth $37 billion, the U.S. Court of Claims ruled.

Federal judge postpones trial against former BP executive

A federal judge has agreed to push back the trial date for a former BP executive charged with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil leaking from the company’s Macondo well in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

BP Oil Spill Settlements to Nonprofits: Mechanics and Lessons

In 2011, BP America’s foundation made grants of $14.2 million to U.S.-based nonprofits and just short of $6 million to overseas charities. The foundation’s 990 indicated three grants to Alabama-based organizations (two United Ways, one Red Cross), one in Mississippi (United Way), and none in Louisiana or Florida, the four states hardest hit by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion (killing 11 workers) and subsequent oil spill in 2010.

Judge says EPA’s lax guidelines on dispersants can stand

Should the federal government regulate where oil dispersants can be used and how much can be dumped into waterways following oil spills?

“Nah,” says the EPA.

Deeper Than Deepwater: Shell Plans World’s Riskiest Offshore Well

Ignoring risks, Shell gears up for production of world’s deepest offshore well

Oil From The Deepwater Horizon Spill Sickened Fish For At Least A Year

A new study discovered illness and birth defects among Gulf Coast fish nearly 16 months after the BP explosion.

Oil & gas company plans new facility, jobs for Broussard

Plains Exploration & Production Co. is building a $20 million facility in Broussard to support deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and company officials announced Thursday.

Coast Guard signs agreement to increase offshore oversight

Under fire for not conducting its own safety audits of offshore drilling rigs and oil platforms, the Interior Department announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement with the Coast Guard to coordinate and beef up offshore oversight.

McDaniel launches Mayflower oil spill hotline

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has started a hotline for concerns related to the crude oil spill from an ExxonMobil pipeline in Mayflower.

How To Clean Up A Crude Oil Spill From Trains

Pacific Northwest refineries have been getting crude oil for years from tankers and pipelines. Last September, trains began shipping crude oil into the region by rail.

Washington’s emergency responders are learning how to deal with the Northwest’s latest method of transporting crude oil.

Keystone XL Pipeline May Not Get Approved Until 2014

It looks like the Keystone XL pipeline won’t come as soon as we thought. Approval for the pipeline now looks like a long way off, according to Phillips 66’s CEO Greg Garland.

Asked whether he believed the Obama Administration would approve the last remaining section of the pipeline, which will transport crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf, Garland said, “No,” according to Biz Journals.

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