Environmental Must-Reads – November 27, 2012


Radioactive material handling probed

State officials are investigating how Texas Brine Co. LLC handled naturally occurring radioactive material in Assumption Parish — where a large sinkhole was found Aug. 3 — and whether it was illegally disposed of inside the Napoleonville Dome in the mid-1990s.

BP Spill Settlement: Many Opt-Out Requests Weren’t Valid, Company And Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Claim

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Only about half the businesses and individuals who asked to be excluded from a proposed settlement over BP’s 2010 oil spill submitted valid requests, the company and a team of plaintiffs’ attorneys said in a court filing Monday.

BP criminal fines could be a game changer for Louisiana’s coast: Bob Marshall

When coastal groups begin considering candidates for conservationist of the year awards, I hope Attorney General Eric Holder — or at least his office — is at the top of their lists. That’s because the details in the record $4.9 billion fine his office has forced BP to pay for its Deepwater Horizon crimes against the Gulf are nothing less than a game changer in the state’s struggle for addressing its starving, sinking, drowning coast.

BP: Many oil spill settlement opt-out requests weren’t valid as filed (updated)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP and a team of plaintiffs’ attorneys say only about half of the businesses and individuals who asked to be excluded from a proposed settlement over the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico submitted valid requests.

Judge sets meeting to discuss BP plea deal

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has scheduled a closed-door meeting Thursday to discuss BP’s agreement to plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from its deadly 2010 rig explosion and response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

Why BP is not a takeover target

With a $130 billion market cap, and billions of dollars in unknown liabilities, BP is still one big toxic mess.

Age Rules Relaxed for BP Settlement Claims of Teenagers

The 2010 BP oil spill affected everyone in the Gulf Coast region—businesses both big and small; individuals directly engaged in tourism or seafood and those a few levels removed; workers both young and old. Much of the attention on the BP Settlement that was reached in March of this year to cover economic loss and property damage claims has focused on more mature businesses and workers.

Polluters Must Pay

NEW YORK – When BP and its drilling partners caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the United States government demanded that BP finance the cleanup, compensate those who suffered damages, and pay criminal penalties for the violations that led to the disaster. BP has already committed more than $20 billion in remediation and penalties. Based on a settlement last week, BP will now pay the largest criminal penalty in US history – $4.5 billion.

Republicans Refuse to Admit that Keystone XL will Bring Oil Through America, Not to It

Politicians who lack factual data to make their point on an issue often use fallacies as a rhetorical tool, and they can be used purposefully to win arguments because they appeal to emotion and not reason. Devoid of facts to back up their arguments, Republicans have little option but appealing to emotions, but instead of fallacies, they intentionally deliver false statements and the payoff is nearly always not in the public’s best interest. For the past year, the GOP has lied to the American people about the benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline, and as the President and Congress work to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, there is little mystery that Republicans will use the pipeline’s approval as a bargaining chip to give the oil industry greater subsidies even as they attempt to cut their taxes. The President and Democrats could protect the environment and Americans’ health if they informed the people that Canadian tar sand is not coming to America, but through it on its way to China and Europe.

Cleanup continuing after Mokena oil pipeline leak

Clean-up continues at Mokena tank farm after 900 barrels of crude oil leaked from an underground pipeline last week.

Enbridge gets nod for Alberta pipeline

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 26 (UPI) — Canadian pipeline company Enbridge announced it reached an agreement with shippers for the expansion of an oil pipeline in Alberta province.

While we dither on spending to prevent disaster, Big Oil doubles down on causing it

Earlier today, the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the anticipated economic impact of superstorm Sandy.

Oil and tradition try life together in far north Alaska

BARROW, Alaska – Minutes after the hunters’ harpoon pierced the flesh of a bowhead whale, the call went out.

By cellphone and radio, native Alaskans were beckoned to the beach. Dozens worked furiously in the dark to carve the 40-ton beast and distribute the meat before it could spoil.

House members want details on fatal offshore fire

Top House Democrats on Monday summoned Black Elk CEO John Hoffman to Capitol Hill to share details about the offshore production platform that claimed at least two workers’ lives.

BP, workers head to court over criminal charges in Gulf disaster

BP is preparing to plead guilty to manslaughter and other crimes arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and oil spill but isn’t expected to do that during an initial appearance Tuesday in New Orleans federal court.

For the first time, a fossil fuel tanker is navigating the Arctic

The Ob River is a massive tanker that can carry 150,000 cubic meters of liquified natural gas. (You can tell it carries liquified natural gas because the side of the vessel says “L N G” in massive letters.) And the ship is about to do something that no tanker has done before: traverse the winter Arctic to ship fossil fuels from Norway to Japan.

Fracking Pipeline Threatens Sandy’s Worst-Hit Victims

Just weeks after Hurricane Sandy walloped New York City in one of the most devastating episodes of destruction the city has ever seen, new safety concerns for those who were hardest-hit have come to light–namely, a pipeline for fracked gas that is proposed to go right underneath the battered areas, many of which are still without power.

Wyoming expresses mixed feelings on federal fracking rules

Wyoming has mixed feelings about federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, and the public response to a series of rules proposed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management earlier this year likely won’t make the federal agency’s upcoming decision any easier.

SUNY Buffalo’s Fracking Problem

SUNY Buffalo had a difficult issue with fracking. Back in May researchers at the university report indicated that hydraulic fracturing, the process of opening of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure to extract oil or gas, was getting safer. The industry and industry and regulators were doing a better job! Now why might the university be inclined to come to that conclusion?

Fracking on College Campuses Increases Nationwide

The oil and gas industry plans to frack on college campuses in Pennsylvania, just as it currently does in close proximity to K-12 schools nationwide.

U.S. Geological Survey Report Released: Landscape Consequences of Natural Gas Extraction in Greene and Tioga Counties, Pennsylvania, 2004-2012

American scientists study Japan’s Fukushima disaster to improve US reactor safety

TOKYO — A group of American scientists met in Tokyo on Tuesday to study last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident in hopes of finding lessons to improve the safety of U.S. atomic power reactors.

Despite 2011 disaster, pro-nuclear party could win power in Japan

Tokyo: Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favours nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster – a result a baffled Greenpeace activist likens to one of the “wonders of the world”.

Japan rebuked on Fukushima

A United Nations rights investigator said Monday that Japan hasn’t done enough to protect the health of residents and workers affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Fukushima cancer risk very ‘low’, says UN

Tokyo, Nov 27 (ANI): There is a low risk that cancer rates will rise among residents near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, a preliminary report by the World Health Organization has said.

Following Japan visit, UN expert stresses need for monitoring effects of nuclear radiation on people

26 November 2012 – At the end of a visit to Japan related to health issues stemming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, a United Nations independent expert today stressed the importance of monitoring the effects of atomic radiation on people’s health.

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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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