News Round-Up: April 19, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


The Price of Fracking: Earthquakes & Groundwater Contamination

It is possible – even likely – that the fracking process to extract natural gas and oil from underground rock formations causes earthquakes. The facts are clear: in the geographical part of the country where fracking (technically known as hydraulic fracturing) is active, earthquakes of level 3.0 and above have increased six times their 20th century average since 2009, according to a Reuters article.

Colorado Gas Fracking Rules Still Hazy in Wake of Guv’s Task Force Report

As oil and gas rigs creep closer to Colorado neighborhoods, it still isn’t clear whether local governments can regulate the industry on their own or if they must solely stick to the state’s rules.

Big Oil and Gas Weaken Fracking Bill

The power and influence that Big Oil and Gas wield in California is on display once again this week in Sacramento. Lobbyists for large oil and gas conglomerates are forcing East Bay Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski to water down legislation he wrote that seeks to regulate fracking in the state, the LA Times reports.

NY Official: No Date Yet for Fracking Update

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says there’s no timeline for a decision on whether fracking of shale gas wells will be allowed in New York state, but the review will likely continue through the summer.


Revenue Tussle Ices Arctic Oil Drilling Safety Upgrades

Shortly after a new report hammered Congress for not improving drilling safety two years after the nation’s worst oil spill, two senators laid the blame on unnamed colleagues opposed to sharing federal offshore energy royalties with Alaska and other coastal states.

Restore Act Passes the U.S. House

A bill that could send billions of dollars to the Gulf Coast for restoration after the Gulf oil spill passed the U.S. House Wednesday.

Mutant Crabs Turning Up in the Gulf

BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be related to the eyeless shrimp, clawless crabs and other deformed animals now found in the Gulf, reported Al Jazeera. Fishers and marine biologists believe tremendous amounts of highly toxic chemicals may have had a negative effect on creatures that are constantly bathed in them, contrary to what BP asserts.

Researchers Discuss Oil Spill’s Impacts

Continuing research into the effects of the B.P. oil spill suggests damage to coastal residents’ health may not be as bad as previously feared, a panel of experts gathered at Nicholls State University said Wednesday.


Fukushima Fuel Removal Buildings

Plans for the removal of nuclear fuel from Fukushima Daiichi 4 have been explained by Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

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