Environmental Must-Reads – September 20, 2013


Report Confirms Fracking Pollution Sickens Residents in Texas As Regulators Walk Away

A new report released today by Earthworks provides an important window into a disturbing national pattern regarding the oversight of fracking-enabled oil and gas development: regulators, charged with protecting the public, are actively avoiding evidence that fracking is harming the public. The report focuses on Karnes County, TX, in an attempt to illuminate a growing national pattern of absentee regulators.

Colorado Monitoring 10 Oil Spills After Flooding

Authorities in Colorado are just beginning to assess the damage from recent record-busting floods along the Front Range, but among the waters already discovered are two oil spills that together amounting to roughly 450 barrels of the stuff–roughly 19,000 gallons.

Did Floods Cause a Fracking Disaster in Colorado?

As skies clear and rescue efforts wind down, Colorado is beginning to take stock of the damage wrought by its week of biblical floods. Highways are destroyed, bridges collapsed, and homes ripped from their foundations. And down in Weld County, state agencies, researchers, industry personnel, and environmental activists are trying to figure out what’s happened to the hundreds of oil and gas wells that lie underwater.

Flooding and Fracking in Colorado: Double Disaster

Cliff Willmeng was filming from the banks of the raging St. Vrain River in Colorado when he heard a sound like guitar strings being plucked. He looked around for the source and spotted, in the rapids near him, an electrical pole leaning at 45 degrees. “To be honest, it was probably dangerous, what I was doing,” he admits. “[But] the more unsafe the travel became, the more important the work became.”

What Cows Can Tell Us About The Dangers Of Fracking

Evidence on the way fracking affects the health of humans is scarce, in large part because drilling companies go to great lengths to keep that information hidden. That’s why two Cornell University researchers turned to cows to find out just how toxic fracking pollution is. The results were alarming, if not exactly surprising.

The Netherlands puts temporary ban on fracking ahead of further research

A decision on whether to begin fracking for shale gas in the Netherlands will not be taken for another 18 months until further research has been done, Dutch economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has confirmed.

Study Of Best Fracked Wells Finds Low Methane Emissions, But Skips Super-Emitters

The good news: A sample of what are probably the best fracked wells in the country finds low emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas.

The bad news: The study likely missed the super-emitters, the wells that are responsible for the vast majority of methane leakage.

State, BP at odds over anchor removal

The war of words between the state of Louisiana and BP continues over the removal of orphaned boom anchors left in the marsh after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster response, but this time it’s in federal court.

BP sues Louisiana officials after being ordered to remove oil spill boom anchors from state waters

BP sued the state of Louisiana Thursday to block an order that the company remove from state waters thousands of metal anchors that were used to hold down oil spill booms following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Fine for Marring Deepwater Horizon Evidence

Halliburton will pay a $200,000 fine for destroying evidence related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in a plea agreement approved by a federal judge in New Orleans.

Former Halliburton employee faces charges for destroying oil spill evidence

A former Halliburton employee was charged Thursday with destroying evidence following BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Anthony Badalamenti, who had been the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services, was charged in federal court Thursday with instructing two other employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP’s blown-out well

Oil companies lining up to bid on exploration rights for mammoth Brazilian field

At least 11 oil firms paid more than $900,000 each to join an auction next month for rights to explore Brazil’s huge deepwater Libra field, authorities said Thursday.

The National Petroleum Agency did not identify the companies involved but Britain’s BP and BG Group, as well as American firm ExxonMobil are not on the list, according to ANP director Magda Chambriard.

What Oil Companies Can Learn From The Response To A Massive Molasses Spill In Hawaii

One of the worst environmental disasters in Hawaii’s history — one that so far has killed more than 26,000 fish and destroyed swaths of coral reef — could have something to teach the fossil fuel industry.

The company responsible for a massive molasses spill in Hawaii’s Honolulu Harbor earlier this month, Matson, Inc., has pledged to pay entirely for response efforts and has promised the people of Hawaii that they won’t see any costs from the spill. More surprisingly, the company’s president has said that if an investigation doesn’t reveal the cause of the spill, the company is prepared to fully halt its molasses operation.

South Shore Residents Make A Stink Over Spills At Sewage Treatment Plant

Residents on Long Island’s South shore are outraged over a smelly diesel oil spill.

Nassau County’s massive sewage treatment plant in Bay Park leaked sewage during Sandy and fuel from backup generators as well, CBS 2?s Jennifer McLogan reported.

Keystone XL advocates, foes mark permit request’s fifth anniversary

Supporters and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline marked the fifth anniversary of the project’s application for a cross-border permit from the US Department of State with statements, hearings, and protests.

House Republicans lobby for Keystone XL pipeline with reaction GIFs

The Keystone XL pipeline has been a controversial topic in Washington, caught between concerned environmentalists and an increasingly adamant energy lobby. But today, House Republicans rolled out a new weapon in the political fight: reaction GIFs.

25 Arrested by Armed Russian Coast Guards Following Arctic Oil Drilling Protest 

The Russian Coast Guard has boarded the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and is arresting the 25 activists on board following a protest against Gazprom’s Arctic oil drilling operations.

Russia ‘seizes’ Greenpeace ship after Arctic rig protest

Environmental group Greenpeace said that armed Russian officers had stormed its ship protesting oil exploration in the Arctic and detained all its crew in a locked room.

New Oil-by-Train Dangers Exposed in Canada

For the second time in three months, a CP Rail train carrying toxic and flammable hydrocarbons has derailed in the city of Calgary. On September 11, eight railway wagons carrying close to one million liters of a highly flammable gasoline product (diluent) used in the pipeline transport of tar sands bitumen derailed in the Inglewood neighbourhood.

Japan: Fukushima’s Surviving Reactors Ordered Shut

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday ordered the operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant to scrap all six reactors at the site instead of just four scheduled for decommissioning and to concentrate on tackling pressing issues like leaks of radioactive water.

M5.3 earthquake rocks Fukushima

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocked Japan’s Fukushima prefecture early Friday morning, U.S. seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The epicenter of the earthquake was 22 km below the ground, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck 20 km west of Iwaki, bordering the Pacific Ocean, at 2:25 a.m.

Earthquake strikes Fukushima, Japan PM calls to scrap reactors

A 5.9 preliminary magnitude earthquake struck Fukushima Prefecture early Friday, close to the site of a 2011 nuclear power plant meltdown, Japan’s Kyodo News reported, after the nation’s prime minister urged the plant to shut down its remaining reactors.

Fukushima leak questions handling of nuclear plant crisis

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has visited the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

His visit came amid rising concerns over the leaking of contaminated water into the sea after an adviser to TEPCO, the plant’s operator, admitted the problem was not under control.

Add comment

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This