Environmental Must-Reads – November 1, 2012


BP Spill Settlement Opt-Outs to Increase With Deadline Today

Lawyers for as many as 10,000 potential plaintiffs pursuing claims over BP Plc (BP/)’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill said their clients today will opt out or reject the company’s $7.8 billion settlement reached in March.

Arthur Kill Oil Spill: Hurricane Sandy’s Surge Dumps Diesel Into New Jersey Waterway

WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, N.J. -– Workers continued to clean up diesel Wednesday night that was part of almost 350,000 gallons of fuel that spilled as a result of superstorm Sandy.

Bonner: No tax breaks for BP oil spil fines

WASHINGTON — Fines paid by BP and other companies for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill would not be tax deductible under legislation proposed by an Alabama congressman.

In Hong Kong, a Timely Photo Series on Water

Edward Burtynsky spent most of the past decade with his lens on the oil industry. Now he is shifting his focus to what he calls “the next great liquid”: water.

The 57-year-old artist’s new exhibit, “Watermarks,” opens Thursday at Sundaram Tagore in Hong Kong. Aside from a few photos that have shown at art fairs, this is the first time the series has shown, and it will reappear at other exhibitions and in a documentary over the next few years.

Shell Wraps Up Arctic Drilling Season

Shell Oil wrapped up its exploratory drilling season in the Arctic today. As promised, not a drop of oil was spilled in the process — but not a drop was drilled either.

Company, parish disagree on size of sinkhole

Assumption Parish and Texas Brine Co. officials issued estimates Wednesday that disagree on how much land a 5.5-acre sinkhole swallowed during the slurry hole’s eastern-bank collapse Tuesday.

BP continues to settle claims

Nearly $396.7 million in claims against oil giant BP have been paid in Louisiana since June 4, the new court-appointed claims administrator said Wednesday in Baton Rouge.

And another $861.3 million soon will be paid to residents of the state and those of Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas, said administrator Patrick Juneau, a Lafayette lawyer.

Nebraska says new Keystone XL route is slightly less likely to ruin state

During the most heated point in the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline last year, the state of Nebraska was poised to act as spoiler. The pipeline as initially proposed ran over Nebraska farmland, but also — critically for the region — over the Ogallala Aquifer, a pristine water source widely tapped for drinking and irrigation.

TransCanada to be audited by regulator over safety of pipelines

TransCanada Corp. (TRP), facing opposition from campaigners including actress Daryl Hannah to its planned Keystone XL oil pipeline, will be audited by Canadian regulators to check whether it meets safety and management standards.

Green Party Presidential Candidate Arrested in TransCanada Keystone XL Tar Sands Blockade

Less than one week before the U.S. election, Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein has been arrested for literally walking the walk in her stance against dirty oil and corporate politicking. Dr. Stein was detained while standing with peaceful Tar Sands Blockade protestors entering the 38th day of the Texas standoff against TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL export pipeline. She awaits processing at the Wood County jail.

The Battle Against Big Energy’s Rush to Ruin Our Planet

Extreme killer superstorms, historic drought, vanishing sea ice, an increase in ocean acidity by 30 percent, the hottest decade on record and mega forest fires have increasingly become our new reality.

UPDATE 1-TransCanada wins contract for $1 bln pipeline in Mexico

Nov 1 (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp said on Thursday its Mexican subsidiary has been awarded a contract to build, own and operate the El Encino-to-Topolobampo Pipeline by CFE, Mexico’s federal power company.

Pipeline To Be Built Within Mile Of Nuclear Plant

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. – Despite concerns associated with nearby seismic activity, officials do not foresee any problems with Chesapeake Energy’s plans to frack within 1 mile of the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station.

Groups Petition EPA To Disclose Fracking Emissions

The oil and gas industry has lobbied hard — and successfully — to keep the public from knowing about toxic chemicals they are pumping into underground formations with a technique called “fracking,” short for hydraulic fracturing. These chemicals may escape into drinking water aquifers if fracking wells are built sloppily, and they may also escape into the air and make people nearby sick.

Faculty, student group calls for end to UB Marcellus Shale institute

ALBANY — A group of faculty members, students and their supporters on Wednesday called on the University at Buffalo to close its controversial Shale Resources and Society Institute.

A sign the fracking craze could be cooling?

Many U.S. energy companies are spending more than their cash flow these days, extending the boom in hydraulic fracturing. Earlier this week, I raised the question of how much longer the spending would continue. One sign that it may be slowing comes from L&M Radiator, a company in Hibbing, Minn., that makes radiators for many of the large trucks used at well sites. L&M is one of the biggest suppliers of radiators for large trucks to both the mining and oil and gas industries.

Local-State Clashes over Oil and Gas Drilling

Many parts of the nation are experiencing a boom that is unlocking large new reserves of oil and gas from shale formations. While this means an increase in domestic fuel production, it is also fostering a gusher of increasingly bitter fights among local authorities, state governments, energy companies, and landowners about who has the right to regulate where and how drilling occurs.

Worker at Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant: Firm sent crews into danger

IWAKI, Japan – The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant that went into a tsunami-triggered meltdown knew the risks from highly radioactive water at the site but sent in crews without adequate protection or warnings, a worker alleges in a legal complaint.

Fukushima whistleblower: ‘We shouldn’t have been there’

The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant that went into a tsunami-triggered meltdown knew the risks from highly radioactive water at the site but sent in crews without adequate protection or warnings, a worker said in a legal complaint.

Massachusetts’s Markey sees Sandy’s surge as reason to speed post-Fukushima rules

Hurricane Sandy’s wrath shows that U.S. regulators should swiftly implement nuclear-safety rules developed after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, a top lawmaker said, as industry officials countered the lack of major problems during the storm showed that they were ready.

Japan ‘misspent’ tsunami rebuilding money

Tokyo: Cash earmarked for tsunami reconstruction work was diverted to unrelated projects, a Japanese government audit shows, as residents of the devastated northeast vent frustration over the slow pace of rebuilding.

Parts of the 14.9 trillion yen ($187 billion) were used to fund an array of unconnected works, including road-building on the southern island of Okinawa and boosting security for Japan’s controversial whale hunt.

Tokyo 2020 brushes aside Fukushima: “No one died”

Japan was marked by the turn of events on March 11, 2011 as by few others in its history, but Tokyo?s Olympic bid officials don?t think that the Fukushima nuclear disaster should affect their chances of hosting the 2020 Olympic Games.

Plant worker: Radiation injuries during crisis at Japan nuke plant not mishap, files complaint

The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant that went into a tsunami-triggered meltdown knew the risks from highly radioactive water at the site but sent in crews without adequate protection or warnings, a worker said in a legal complaint.

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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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