Environmental Must-Reads – October 24, 2012


Canada’s New Pipeline Woes

OTTAWA — AND you thought pipeline politics in the United States were treacherous. Rebuffed by Washington on bringing the Keystone XL pipeline down through the western United States, Canada now finds that its Plan B — to build a pipeline to its west coast for shipping to Asia — has become mired in domestic politics thick enough to rival the tarlike oil it hopes to sell.

From North To South, Activists Fight Tar Sands Pipelines

Last November, 12,000 people formed a human chain around the White House in opposition of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Now, nearly a year later, thousands again have gathered – this time, nearly 3,000 miles away from D.C. – to oppose a different pipeline, but with still the same goal in mind: to stop the spread of tar sands oil from the Alberta tar sands.

Pipeline protesters to rally at B.C. MLA offices

Opponents of the Northern Gateway oil pipeline have vowed to rally in front of MLA offices across British Columbia on Wednesday.

The Defend Our Coast group, which organized a mass protest against Enbridge’s proposed pipeline at the B.C. legislature Monday, claims to have more than 3,000 registered supporters ready to go at 66 community locations

DePaolo Oil Removal Will Cost Over $120,000; PCBs Still Unknown

The town will be responsible for removing 7,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil left after a 1980 oil spill at DePaolo Middle School that was not properly addressed and costs are expected to be around $100,000, not including additional soil to fill the vacant land left behind, officials with Newfield Construction told the Middle School Building Committee Tuesday.

BP asks judge to approve settlement involving spill damages

BP is urging a federal judge to give final approval to a proposed settlement with residents damaged by  the 2010  oil spill, who have barely a week to decide whether to opt out of the deal.

Puget Sound Oil Spill Drill

The state Ecology Department will test the ability of six area oil companies to mount a rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated response to a major oil spill in central Puget Sound this Wednesday morning. Curt Hart, a spokesperson for Ecology tells us the casual observer will see oil skimming vessels, work boats, and boats putting an oil containment boom out in the water. There will also be at least one low flying airplane to the direct oil skimming.

NW coal port traffic raises worry about huge marine spill

For the 15,000 residents and the tens of thousands of visitors, the San Juan Islands are about as good as it gets: clean air and water, recreation, wooded hillsides, and small towns with great theater, artists, and eateries. No wonder San Juan County has the highest per-capita income in the state and is ranked as the healthiest and one of the best educated.

Oil spill impact lasts a lifetime: marine scientist

The impact of an oil spill in Burrard Inlet would last a lifetime according to a prominent marine scientist.

BP wants court to approve Gulf oil-spill deal despite objections

Oil giant BP has asked a federal judge to disregard objections from a fraction of claimants and give final approval to a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement over economic damages from the Gulf oil spill.

Criminal probe investigating statements after Gulf spill, lawyers say

The federal criminal probe of the 2010 Gulf oil spill is intensifying, with particular focus on the companies involved, some of their workers and statements executives made to investigators in the disaster’s aftermath, lawyers and officials familiar with the case say.

Scientists give explanation for Assumption sinkhole

PIERRE PART — Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure scientists offered residents Tuesday the most detailed explanation yet about how they believe a Texas Brine Co. salt cavern failed and caused the formation of a sinkhole this summer in northern Assumption Parish.

Alaska Natives lobby administration against oil development in NPR-A

Native Alaskans have teamed up with environmental forces to urge the Obama administration to stick with a conservative management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve, despite oil industry protests that the proposal would block energy development in lands specifically reserved for extracting fossil fuels.

Major Investors Say Tar Sands Impacts Unacceptable

While the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has stimulated a major political debate, the financial sector is now increasingly voicing concern about the growing financial risks associated with the environmental and human rights impacts of tar sands development in Canada.  Major investors with $2 trillion in managed assets sent a strong message this week that the risks of Canada’s tar sands on the environment are unacceptable.  A new report issued by CERES representing 49 investors including holdings in tar sands companies outline the real risks of tar sands development on climate, water, lands, and human rights.  The controversy over tar sands pipelines like Keystone XL and Northern Gateway was viewed by the investors as a risk but also new climate policies in California and Europe discouraging dirty fuels.  Notably, the failure of the Canadian government – both at the provincial and federal level – to actively reduce these environmental and social risks was identified as a major contributing factor by the investors.  Despite claims by the Canadian government and industry, current laws and policies in Canada are weak and do little to lessen the impact of tar sands development on the Canadian Boreal.

One fracking minute: an animated explainer on hydraulic fracturing

There’s an oil and gas boom in North America thanks to an innovation known as “hydraulic fracturing.” In energy-rich regions around the U.S., oil companies are setting up so-called “fracking wells” to get natural gas and oil trapped in the shale rock deep underground. It’s become a booming business in pockets of the U.S. — and not without its critics — and is the subject of a new series of stories on Marketplace about the country’s potential to be a new Petro State and its impact on manufacturing.

Environmental groups asking EPA to require toxic release reports for oil, gas drilling

WASHINGTON — Environmental groups say they plan to petition the federal Environmental Protection Agency to require toxic chemical release reporting for the oil and gas industry.

Critic: Shale gas a false hope

Hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas deposits in the United States is a “dangerously false solution” to energy security, an advocacy group said.

U.S. gas bonanza from fracking slow to spread globally

In less than a generation, the United States has soared to world leadership in extracting natural gas from shale formations by hydraulic fracturing. But as the world debates whether “fracking” is an economic boon or a budding environmental disaster, few foreign countries are following the U.S. lead.

Pipeline opponents to rally in Binghamton

Opponents of a proposed interstate natural gas transmission pipeline that would run through 15 miles of rural Broome County are scheduled to rally outside Binghamton City Hall today.

Conservationists win Ruby pipeline appeal

Two federal agencies violated the Endangered Species Act and now must reconsider additional protection for the Lahontan cutthroat trout and other rare fish adversely affected by the 700-mile Ruby pipeline that carries natural gas from Wyoming, through Utah and Nevada into southern Oregon, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

Celebrities rally against hydraulic fracturing

DENVER (AP) – A rally organized by opponents of hydraulic fracturing drew about 200 people to Civic Center Park on Tuesday night.

Wine and fracking do not mix, say vineyard operators in New York’s Finger Lakes region

The hillside vineyards of New York’s Finger Lakes region make money producing fine Rieslings and inviting tourists to sip white wine by the water’s edge. Now winery owners are worried about the prospect of a grittier kind of economic development: gas drilling.

Groups ask Pennsylvania to change fracking-related policy

Fourteen environmental groups have asked Republican Gov. Tom Corbett to reverse a recent change in how official notifications of possible water pollution related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling are handled. But state officials said the public still gets the information it needs.

Report: Fracking Poisoning Families At Alarming Rate

Residents living near gas fracking sites suffer an increasingly high rate of health problems now linked to pollutants used in the gas extraction process, according to a new report released Thursday.

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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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