Environmental Must-Reads, October 3, 2012


Special Report: The casualties of Chesapeake’s “land grab” across America

Ranjana Bhandari and her husband knew the natural gas beneath their ranch-style home in Arlington, Texas, could be worth a lot – especially when they got offer after offer from Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Chesapeake wanted to drill there, and the offers could have netted the couple thousands of dollars in a bonus and royalties. But Bhandari says they ultimately declined the deals because they oppose fracking in residential areas. Fracking, slang for hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial method used to extract gas and oil. Their repeated refusals didn’t stop Chesapeake, the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States. This June, after petitioning a Texas state agency for an exception to a 93-year-old statute, the company effectively secured the ability to drain the gas from beneath the Bhandari property anyway – without having to pay the couple a penny.

Environmentalists upset about decision to allow drillers to buy water from lakes

Environmentalists say a conservancy district violated the public trust by once again agreeing to quench the thirst of drillers in eastern Ohio.

The publicly-funded Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District broke its pledge to delay temporary water sales, environmental advocates argue. The district, however, maintains its decision will not impact recreation at any of its 12 reservoirs and will allow it to invest the proceeds into projects that benefit the public.

Chesapeake Testing ‘Green’ Fracking Fluids in U.S. Shale Wells

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the second- largest U.S. natural gas producer, is testing hydraulic- fracturing fluids composed solely of environmentally-benign components in wells.

Dallas Earthquakes May Be Tied To Wastewater Disposal From Fracking Operations, Geophysicist Claims

Three unusual earthquakes that shook a suburb west of Dallas over the weekend appear to be connected to the past disposal of wastewater from local hydraulic fracturing operations, a geophysicist who has studied earthquakes in the region says.

N.D. official says quake unrelated to fracking

An earthquake near Williston last week is consistent with historical seismic activity in the state’s northwest corner but doesn’t have any connection with hydraulic fracturing, according to a state geologist.

Anti-Fracking Festival Is Saturday In Ossining

It has become a divisive issue in New York and Pennsylvania, but an advocacy group is hoping Saturday’s Anti-Fracking Festival in Ossining will be more of a celebration.

Senate hearing seeks answers regarding unaccounted oil from BP spill

In the wake of Hurricane Isaac, sediment and sand across coastal Louisiana shifted to reveal tar balls and oil mats — part of the buried remnants of the 2010 BP oil spill.

BP oil spill workers have until Dec. 31 to register for largest oil spill health study in history

Federal officials have issued a last call asking BP oil spill cleanup workers to enroll in the Gulf Study, the largest health study of oil spill workers in history.

Politicians blast BP, Coast Guard over spill

NEW ORLEANS — BP PLC and the Coast Guard were excoriated Tuesday by Louisiana’s Republican U.S. senator who charged the oil giant was trying to “run away from its full cleanup responsibilities” two years after the nation’s worst offshore oil spill and that federal regulators are “too cozy” with BP.

Judge dismisses claims by BP fuel dealers that Gulf oil spill hurt brand name

NEW ORLEANS – A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed claims by BP fuel stations and convenience stores that the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico diminished the value of the oil giant’s brand and cost them business.

Testing Confirms Oil Spill Contamination at DePaolo Middle School

The news regarding a fuel oil spill in 1980 at DePaolo Middle School wasn’t unexpected, but it was not what officials were hoping to hear. Tests conducted by Hygenix, Inc., last weekend determined that #4 fuel oil from a 5,000-gallon leak in the oil tank that occurred in 1980 still remained within the ground water in the soil surrounding the tank. The soil must be remediated, Southington officials said, and efforts to do so will begin immediately.

The real dangers of Arctic drilling

Shell Oil has called it quits for this year on its first Arctic drilling rig. First, there was danger of a city-size chunk of floating ice smashing into the rig just hours after exploratory drilling began. Days later, a test of its oil-spill containment dome ended in a tangled mess on the ocean bottom

Alarming breast cancer rates among troops reported

If you think breast cancer is just something for your grandmother, mom and aunts to worry about, think again. Not only is breast cancer striking relatively young military women at alarming rates, but male service members, veterans and their dependents are at risk, as well.



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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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