Environmental Must-Reads – November 7, 2012


Fracking can hurt property values of nearby homes with wells, study suggests

Property owners near shale gas wells are liable to suffer a major loss in value because of worries over water contamination, according to economists from Duke University and the nonprofit research organization Resources for the Future.Their study found Pennsylvania homeowners who use local groundwater for drinking lost up to 24 percent of their property value if they are within a mile and a quarter of a shale gas well.

François Hollande Says ‘Non!’ to Fracking

France has been hit by the ongoing decline of its competitiveness for at least the past 10 years. Unemployment is now back above the 10% rate, the trade balance deficit has reached record highs, and the government is struggling to rein in its budget while trying to revive the country’s industries and prevent outsourcing. Yet the competitive edge from nuclear and the potential bonanza from shale gas remain ignored.

Fracking Along the Colorado River: A Report From a Kayak

A tangle of pipes, pumps and green natural gas structures catches my eye as I float down the Colorado River just below the town of Rifle. We’re in the heart of Garfield County, western Colorado’s gas country, and we’ve been seeing the telltale signs the industry all morning. We’ve paddled under pipelines, past drilling rigs, and even by several wells pads poised on artificial rock banks a stone’s throw from the water. Although we were warned about the heavy gas development along this section of river, it is strange to see active gas wells within the historic floodplain of the Colorado.

Ballot Question 300: Longmont fracking ban storms to victory

LONGMONT — Longmont’s city charter will now ban fracking.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, the ban — Ballot Question 300 — was leading 16,798 votes to 11,544 and had widened its margin of victory with every report, according to the Boulder and Weld county clerk’s offices. That gave ban supporters about 59 percent of the vote.

When It Comes to Water Pollution from Fracking, Pennsylvania State Regulators Have Been Hiding the Ball

For Pennsylvania residents who suspect their drinking water has been contaminated by fracking, the situation has long been frustrating.  Because of legal exemptions for fracking, federal regulators are generally not involved, and drilling companies—along with state regulators at the Pennsylvania Department of Environment (DEP)—are often quick to blame preexisting “natural” conditions, even when, shortly after nearby drilling activities, water has turned brown, smelly, or flammable.

Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing: Canadian Edition

The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC) recently released a report documenting a series of earthquakes in the Horn River Basin in northeast British Columbia. The researchers concluded that these earthquakes were caused by hydraulic fracturing.

New gas pipeline being built in central NY

SANFORD, N.Y. — A 44-mile-long, $280 million natural gas pipeline under construction in central New York will carry natural gas from northern Pennsylvania to East Coast markets.

Nucor locks in natural gas deal

Nucor Corp., which is building a $750 million direct-reduced iron plant in St. James Parish, will pay Encana Oil & Gas Inc. a portion of costs, plus interest, to drill onshore natural gas wells.

Farmer Fights for Her Land as Shell Begins Fracking Amidst Hundreds of Abandoned Oil Wells

Maggie Henry’s eyes lit up when she handed me a cherry tomato plucked from the mat of tomato plants carpeting her greenhouse and said, “Now tell me that’s not the best tomato in the world!” Henry is passionate about the food she grows and the land where it comes from. She has been raising chickens and pigs, and a half acre of vegetables on her farm near New Castle, PA for the last 10 years. Before that her husband Dale ran a small dairy operation, which had been passed down from his father and grandfather.

However, some of her enthusiasm has recently dwindled and weeds have taken over some of her garden. The weeds got away from her this summer because she has been busy fighting the permit for an unconventional gas well going in on a neighbor’s property.

Enbridge Selected to Provide Crude Oil Pipeline for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Development

Enbridge Inc. ( ENB ) will build, own and operate a crude oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico to connect the proposed Heidelberg development, operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, to an existing third-party pipeline system.

Enviros quickly press victorious Obama to nix Keystone pipeline

Environmentalists are planning a demonstration on Nov. 18 to put fresh pressure on President Obama, the projected winner of a second term, to reject the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

Fairness hearing on proposed BP oil spill settlement slated for Thursday in New Orleans

More than a year-and-a-half in the making, Thursday’s fairness hearing in New Orleans on the proposed BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill settlements on private economic damage, property and health claims will include testimony from the plaintiffs’ lawyers, BP’s counsel and a host of potential objectors to the deal. If they stand, the settlements could eventually pay out more than $7.8 billion and resolve tens of thousands of oil spill claims.

2 more BP spill early restoration projects gain preliminary approval

Two projects to restore nesting areas for shorebirds and sea turtles in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, totaling $9 million, have received preliminary approval from federal and state trustees for the BP oil spill, according to a notice published in the Federal Register on Tuesday. BP will pay for the projects from a $1 billion fund the company has set aside after an explosion at its deep water Macondo well sent 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf in 2010.

Judge must decide who can withdraw from spill deal

Thousands of Gulf Coast residents claiming economic or health damages from the 2010 oil spill have told a New Orleans federal judge they don’t want to participate in a class action settlement, and now he has to decide which ones he’ll allow to opt out.

ExxonMobil contributes to Hurricane Sandy

ExxonMobil continues to work to support distribution of gasoline and fuel throughout the area affected by Hurricane Sandy and is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross for disaster relief assistance in New York, New Jersey and the Caribbean.

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