Environmental Must-Reads – November 29, 2012


Police: Gas release not reportable

The atmospheric release of hydrogen sulfide gas last week from a Texas Brine Co. LLC vent well in Assumption Parish did not require immediate reporting to state hazardous materials authorities, Louisiana State Police said.

BP Suspended from New U.S. Government Contracts

BP is being temporarily suspended from new contracts with the U.S. government, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

EPA Temporarily Halts New Federal Contracts For BP

Citing a “lack of business integrity,” the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was temporarily suspending the oil giant BP from entering into new contracts with the federal government.

Gulf oil lease sale bids $134 million

WASHINGTON — The federal government took in nearly $134 million in high bids Wednesday during a Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas lease sale that did not include any bids from BP.

3 BP employees arraigned on Gulf oil spill charges

Two BP rig supervisors and a former BP executive pleaded not guilty Wednesday to criminal charges stemming from the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the company’s response to the massive 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

3 BP employees in court on oil spill charges

A BP rig supervisor said Wednesday that he is innocent of manslaughter in the deaths of 11 workers in the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig that started the spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

EPA suspends BP from new federal contracts in wake of oil spill

The Environmental Protection Agency has suspended BP from bidding on any new federal contracts, including drilling leases, as a result of the company’s conduct during the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in 2010 that led to 11 deaths and the largest U.S. offshore spill.

Deepwater Horizon defendants vow to fight charges

NEW ORLEANS — Two BP well-site leaders and a former executive pleaded not guilty and defiantly promised Wednesday a vigorous defense to felony charges stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, a day after the British oil giant they worked for made an appearance before the same judge to answer to manslaughter charges.

Ex-BP workers plead innocent to Gulf disaster manslaughter

Two former BP employees were charged Wednesday with manslaughter in the 2010 Gulf spill disaster, while BP itself was blocked from bidding for U.S. government contracts until it shows it no longer lacks “business integrity”. BP responded by saying it was working with the Obama administration to do just that.

Ecolab’s Nalco Dismissed From Lawsuits Over 2010 BP Spill

Ecolab Inc. (ECL)’s Nalco Holding Co. unit, which provided a chemical dispersant used to deal with the 2010 BP Plc (BP/) Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has been dismissed from lawsuits over the incident.

BP banned from US contracts and oil business benefits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it was temporarily debarring BP, suspending the company from receiving new contracts with the federal government based on its “lack of business integrity” concerning the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 workers, and related oil spill.

Justice Department says BP settlement should not influence civil trial

The lines in the upcoming civil battle between BP and the Justice Department over responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon accident are being drawn in words.

The spill: How much should BP suffer?

Remember when oil giant BP paid billions of dollars to clean up its own mess from the 2010 Gulf oil spill?

Then the company agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay an unprecedented $4 billion fine for the spill.

In the latest development, Wednesday, BP was essentially told to stand in the corner when it comes to winning new federal contracts — a potentially huge blow to the company’s bottom line.

Court rules Interior didn’t violate judge’s order

NEW ORLEANS — The Obama administration didn’t violate an order by a judge who struck down its temporary moratorium on deep water drilling after BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Body identified as missing oil platform worker

A body found in the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle has been identified as a Filipino worker missing since a deadly fire broke out on an oil platform earlier this month, a coroner said Wednesday.

Steffy: What does it take to get booted from the Gulf?

They didn’t actually use the words “double-secret probation.”

I checked.

But the most recent warning that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement sent to Houston’s Black Elk Energy raises the question of whether Dean Wormer from “Animal House” has come out of retirement to oversee safety in the Gulf of Mexico.

ConocoPhillips, Chevron lead pack at Western Gulf lease sale

ConocoPhillips submitted high bids for most of the federally-owned offshore oil and natural gas drilling leases that were put up for auction in New Orleans on Wednesday.

Rice connected to Keystone pipeline company

If Susan E. Rice becomes Secretary of State, she might have to recuse herself from one of the first and most controversial decisions she would face: the Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.

Susan Rice holds TransCanada stock

Potential Secretary of State candidate Susan Rice holds as much as $600,000 of shares in TransCanada, the company seeking State Department approval to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

Sec. of State Hopeful Susan Rice Reportedly Holds 600k Stake in Keystone XL Decision

The shoulders on which the Keystone Pipeline XL decision may fall happens to have a half-million dollar stake in the game. Secretary of State hopeful and current U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice reportedly owns between $300,000 and $600,000 of TransCanada stock.

Secretary of State Candidate Has Major Financial Stakes in Canadian Tar Sands

Susan Rice, the candidate believed to be favored by President Obama to become the next Secretary of State, holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline. If confirmed by the Senate, one of Rice’s first duties likely would be consideration, and potentially approval, of the controversial mega-project.

Chevron’s $19 billion ‘disaster’ gets hearing

Chevron Corp. (CVX) is facing its first test of whether farmers and fishermen from the Amazon rainforest will collect $19 billion in environmental damages from the world’s fourth-largest oil company.

New York Health Professionals Call for Solid Science in Assessing Fracking’s Health Risks

The growing army of New York health professionals concerned about fracking’s health risks have launched a new initiative and invited regional clinicians, researchers, and advocates to join them in assuring that the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) currently requested by Governor Cuomo and undertaken by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) at the behest of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEP) is comprehensive, complete, (and conducted in a transparent process.)

Rockaway pipeline proposed amid rupture fears

With predictions the city will see an increase in hurricanes like Sandy in the future, some are concerned a proposed natural gas pipeline that would travel from the Atlantic Ocean under the Rockaways through Jamaica Bay and into Brooklyn could be vulnerable.

Fracking good for the climate? What a load of hot air

In recent weeks, Gov. Cuomo has written eloquently in these pages about the need, in the wake of superstorm Sandy, to respond to the danger of climate change. And one of the ways to answer the challenge of a warming planet, some say, is to embrace hydrofracking — the process of drilling deep underground for natural gas.

Fracking protest gets heated in southeast Ohio

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Around 100 protesters have been escorted from a public forum over injection gas drilling in southeastern Ohio.

‘Fracking’ dispute gets hotter

ATHENS, Ohio — State officials escorted about 100 people out of an information session on a proposed “fracking” waste well last night after the crowd tried to take over the Ohio Department of Natural Resources open house and turn it into a public hearing.

Matt Damon Vs. Fracking

The new movie “Promised Land,” which Matt Damon co-wrote and co-produced, came in under budget and ahead of schedule because it had a script, the actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter said Tuesday night in New York. The talk was distributed on the Internet through Livestream.

Fracking in Michigan: Researchers study potential impact on health, environment, economy

University of Michigan researchers are conducting a detailed study of the potential environmental and societal effects of hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas drilling process known as fracking.

Drinking water for millions – including D.C. – at risk without stronger BLM fracking rules

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Department of the Interior is in the process of developing new rules for fracking on more than 750 million acres of public and private land across the country. A final rule could be released as early as December.

Fracking may release less methane than thought

How much methane leaks out of the ground during the fracking process? There’s a long-running debate over that question, and the answer could determine the role of natural gas in a climate-changed world. Natural gas burns more cleanly than coal and oil, but that benefit could be outweighed if fracking causes significant releases of methane, a greenhouse gas that is orders of magnitude more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

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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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