Environmental Must-Reads – October 9, 2012


Activists push Pa. to restrict drilling in tract

Environmental activists are pressuring the state to restrict Marcellus Shale drilling on 18,780 acres in a popular recreational area of northern Pennsylvania, where they say the state has a rare opportunity to control natural-gas extraction because of a 1933 deed restriction.

Hurry up and wait as policy tool

In one of the most dramatic turnarounds I’ve witnessed from state decision makers, fracking is on hold in New York just months after a pilot project that would have given the drilling industry a toehold seemed a sure thing.

Fracking critics make voices heard

The energy industry claims fracking is safe. Critics say otherwise. “The record shows that there have been no incidents of contamination from hydraulic fracturing in over 1.2 million wells drilled over more than 60 years,” Richard Ranger, senior policy analyst for the American Petroleum Institute, commented in the institute’s blog, “Energy Tomorrow.”

Widespread Fracking in Los Padres Forest

For several decades, the oil industry has injected potentially harmful chemicals deep beneath the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County’s Sespe Oil Field, and the controversial practice – known as hydraulic fracturing – is now making a resurgence. The fracking was discovered after a yearlong investigation by the local nonprofit land conservation organization Los Padres ForestWatch involving thousands of pages of state and federal government records.

 London takes cautious approach to fracking

The British government makes no apology for taking a cautious approach to the development of shale natural gas reserves, the British energy secretary said.

Mansfield voters will decide city’s rules for fracking waste

Law Director John Spon says Mansfield’s proposed environmental bill of rights, if approved by voters, would represent “the true voice of the people.”

Meet the members of Congress who’ve invested the most in the energy industry

The Washington Post has a nifty tool that allows you to see the investments of members of Congress. Which is not to say that a congressmember will necessarily act on behalf of the companies and industries they’re invested in. It is, instead, to say that if a congressmember did take action on one such company’s behalf and the company’s value increased as a result of that action, the congressmember would see direct benefit.

Super-sponge polymer turns oil spill into floating gel

Following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, many new ways of cleaning up oil have been proposed. Now Mike Chung from Pennsylvania State University in University Park and colleagues have developed a novel approach using a super-absorbent material that turns an oil slick into a gel.

Gulf Coast could lose some BP spill funds in deal with Obama team

Gulf Coast lawmakers spent nearly two years laboring to pass legislation that would make sure their states received most of the fine money energy giant BP Plc will pay for the April 2010 oil spill.

BP Texas City sell-off boosts Deepwater Horizon fund

BP is close to reaching its $38bn disposals target after selling its Texas City refinery, where 15 people died and 170 were injured in an explosion in 2005, to Marathon Petroleum for $2.5bn (£1.55bn).

Oil spill from Russian field Kharyaga

A total of 3,5 square kilometers of tundra has been polluted by the spill, which took place on October 2. The spill was caused by a loss of pressure in a pipe installation, RIA Novosti reports according to BarentsObserver.com.

Bapco conducts an oil spill exercise in Bahrain waters

Bahrain Petroleum Company and the Oil Spill Response Limited, OSRL have jointly conducted an Oil Spill Response exercise.

BP blames workers for Deepwater Horizon disaster

The never-ending drive for profits by the corporate bosses and bankers—wealth that could be used in the interest of the people and protecting the environment—has become more central in the consciousness of those from whom the rich reap their fortunes.

Why Susan Scott Buried TransCanada’s Money on Her Family Farm

The way this Texas farmer sees it, you can’t plant money and grow food. So far the jar of “tainted” TransCanada bills she buried in the rich earth of her 60-acre farm has yielded only heavy machinery and a troop of activists from the Tar Sands Blockade.

Susan Scott worked for years and saved every penny she earned to buy her dream farm in Winnsboro, Texas. Well, it was her dream farm, but that was before the Keystone XL pipeline was slated for construction right over top of it.

Gas found in aquifer previously

The latest release of natural gas discovered in an underground aquifer near Bayou Corne may be the third time in the past 13 years that gas has been loosed in shallow formations over or near the subterranean Napoleonville salt dome, according to a review of regulatory filings.

Sinkhole aquifer gas pressure building to explosive concentrations?

Grave human rights issues in Assumption Parish’s sinkhole area communities are mounting as methane gas pressure is building in the Mississippi River Alluvial aquifer, possibly to “explosive concentrations,” according to geologists who say Monday that the top layer may not hold back gas if above 75 psi.

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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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