Environmental Must-Reads – October 15, 2012


Environment: EPA hits Wyoming refinery with $378,000 fine

Sloppy operations, maintenance and record-keeping have cost a Wyoming refinery $378,000 in fines, according to the EPA, which this week announced a Clean Air Act settlement with the Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company.

Iranians plan oil spill to block Hormuz strait -German weekly

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief has drafted a plan to cause an environmental disaster in the Strait of Hormuz to block seaborne oil exports with the goal of removing economic sanctions imposed on Tehran, the weekly Der Spiegel said in an unsourced report.

Alaskans’ pain set stage for Gulf spill victims’ gain

As a federal judge considers whether to approve a huge civil settlement in the 2010 oil spill, thousands of Gulf Coast residents owe their day in court to a law that arose from the Exxon Valdez disaster 23 years ago.

Maine Voices: Much at stake for Maine as possibility of tar sands pipeline looms

Conservation groups recently held a news conference to sound the alarm over an oil pipeline project that isn’t even officially on the table. What’s the big deal?

It seems simple: Take an existing oil pipeline that connects tankers in Casco Bay to refineries in Montreal and pump a different kind of oil through it in the opposite direction. The difference seems minor.

The difference is that this is no ordinary oil. It’s called “diluted bitumen,” and it’s highly toxic, corrosive and hot — and, according to a recent report by the Cornell University Global Labor Institute, three times more likely to spill than conventional crude.

Exposure to Fuel from Prestige Tanker Oil Spill Causes Short-Term Damage to Rat DNA, Spanish Study Finds

An experiment carried out on rodents exposed to fuel similar to that of the Prestige tanker oil spill — which took place nearly a decade ago — shows that inhalation of the fuel causes damage to genetic material. According to the study, led by the University of A Coruña, the results could be used in relation to people who carry out the industrial cleaning of coasts.

Will Seismic Blasts Upend Atlantic Marine Life?

As a federal decision draws near, environmental and commercial fishing groups are marshaling their forces to protest a plan by the Obama administration to allow seismic airgun testing for oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.

The latest science from Europe on fracking

There are a few new reports from Europe on fracking that provide a lot of valuable information:

A joint report from Germany’s Federal Environment Agency and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety was released in September. Among the conclusions about the environmental impacts of fracking

‘Fracking’ supporters set to demonstrate in Albany

Supporters of using hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas are set to demonstrate in Albany.

Report on Baldwin Hills fracking raises community ire

The environmental impact report on hydraulic fracturing at the Inglewood Oil Field was supposed to address key concerns raised by residents of the Baldwin Hills area.

Fracking won’t lead to a U.S. energy golden age

Increased production of oil and gas from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is stirring visions of a new American golden age of energy independence. This current energy euphoria was set out by Ed Morse, head commodities analyst at Citigroup, in the Wall Street Journal. “The United States,” he said, “has become the fastest-growing oil and gas producer in the world and is likely to remain so for the rest of this decade and into the 2020s. North America is becoming the new Middle East.”

Another Voice: Fracking spoiled farm’s hay fields

The oil and gas industry apparently believes its own propaganda – that modern drilling techniques are environmentally friendly. Maybe it’s time the true-believers at the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York stop by my small farm in the Town of Arcade and see, first hand, the mess made by one of their drillers.

College campuses no place for fracking

A law passed last week will allow state colleges and universities in Pennsylvania to drill for natural gas on their properties using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

40 demonstrators block access to fracking well in North Jackson

About 40 demonstrators from Frackfree Mahoning Valley blockaded access to a horizontal fracturing well under construction in Jackson Township today.

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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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