Environmental Must-Reads – October 1, 2012



New York May Restart Review of Gas-Drilling Rules

New York State appears to be further slowing its effort to produce rules governing fracking, shorthand for the suite of drilling methods used to extract natural gas from deep shale deposits. The pressure to drill has fallen sharply along with gas prices, and in the face of inevitable litigation. The news is on Politics on the Hudson and Shale Gas Review, the blog of Tom Wilber, author of “Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale.”

Rulemaking will likely delay NY gas drilling plans

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York regulators expect to reopen their rulemaking process for natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, casting doubt on whether a 4-year-old moratorium on development will be lifted before next year.

Shift by Cuomo on Gas Drilling Prompts Both Anger and Praise

A few months after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was poised to approve hydraulic fracturing in several struggling New York counties, his administration is reversing course and starting the regulatory process over, garnering praise from environmental groups and stirring anger among industry executives and upstate landowners.

Gas-drilling boom in U.S. rattles energy producer Russia

The drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is shaking up world energy markets from Washington to Moscow to Beijing. Some predict what was once unthinkable: that the U.S. won’t need to import natural gas in the near future, and that Russia could be the big loser.

Energy interests fueling Tomblin’s W.Va. gov bid

The coal industry and other energy interests are helping to fuel West Virginia’s governor’s race, contributing both to Republican Bill Maloney and the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the latest campaign finance reports show.

2 out of 3 Frackers Still Keeping Chemicals a Secret

Many states don’t require companies that use fracking technology to disclose what exactly is in the fluids they inject into the ground. The fracking fluids, which combine chemicals, water, and sand, have been found to include toxic diesel-based chemicals, so there’s a lot of interest in what companies are using.


BP oil spill settlement could shortchange Gulf Coast states

As it works to settle civil and criminal charges from the 2010 Gulf oil spill, the U.S. Department of Justice has proposed a deal that would appear to satisfy both the federal government and BP Plc.

BP spill settlement talks stall as U.S. demands $18 bln

Talks between BP and the U.S. government over a settlement for the 2010 oil spill have stalled because the U.S. is insisting that the British oil giant pay at least $18 billion, British newspaper the Sunday Times reported

Chevron pays fine for oil spill in Brazil

Chevron Corp has paid a multimillion-dollar fine for several “irregularities” in connection with last year’s oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency said.

Oil spill in Brooklyn waterway

People are still being warned not to enter a popular Brooklyn waterway after an estimated 1,000 gallons of oil and other hazardous materials spilled late last week into Paerdegat Basin


Sinkhole evacuees anxious to return home

Bayou Corne sinkhole evacuee Harry Boudreaux has been gone from his retirement home for so long, he said, it is beginning to mildew.“Yeah, I’m frustrated,” Boudreaux said following a Saturday morning community meeting where he and other area residents were briefed at the St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church fellowship hall on the latest sinkhole developments. “I’m not frustrated at the guys who are here. I’m frustrated at the whole situation. The people who live here want to be able to move back home.”

Louisiana sinkhole engulfing entire 1-mile by 3-mile salt dome

The entire area of the 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome is sinking, according to Bayou Corne sinkhole evacuee Harry Boudreaux, speaking to a reporter Saturday morning after a community meeting where he and other area residents hoped to be briefed on the latest disaster developments there that are impacting their human rights to security and health.


BriteSol Introduces Revolutionary Sustainable LED Lighting and a Business Model for a Brighter Future

This week in Las Vegas a local company, BriteSol, unveiled the Holy Grail of lighting technology. BriteSol has developed breakthrough LED lighting technologies for a wide range of applications that run at dramatically low energy costs, with almost no heat generation, and with expected lifetimes in excess of 1 million hours. When compared with other available LED lighting solutions, some BriteSol lighting products realize energy savings of over 90 percent. Representing the first truly sustainable lighting in the world, all BriteSol lighting products are manufactured out of 100 percent recycled materials, with the chipset being the sole exception. With a lifetime of over one million hours they are not disposable. Taking the sustainable business model one step further, all BriteSol products are being manufactured in the country they are being used in, striking international shipping from the equation and the resulting energy and carbon costs generated when products are transported around the globe. BriteSol is determined to light the way to a better, cleaner, sustainable future.

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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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