News Round-Up: April 20, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


US Tribes Left Out of Fracking Decision

American-Indian nations in the United States expressed frustration that they were left out of federal efforts to pass rules on hydraulic fracturing.

Secrecy Over Fracking Is Bad For All

Well over a year since Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu first placed a moratorium on exploration to assess the potential for hydraulic fracturing for gas in the Karoo, there is still a deafening silence on the matter from the government.

Low Gas Prices Offset Potential From Fracking Process

North Carolina produces no natural gas, but that could change if state legislators adopt new rules for hydraulic fracturing. But until additional geological studies on the state’s inventory are complete and gas prices rise, exploration companies aren’t likely to start drilling.

Watch: Panelists Discuss Fracking Pros and Cons

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been happening in Ohio since the 1950s, according to experts, and it’s been a hot topic of conversation for several years.


Three Lessons Linger from BP Oil Spill

As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, let us not forget that Friday marks the second anniversary of the start of the BP oil spill. It deserves more than a shrug, an “oh, yeah,” and “how’s the fishing?” It deserves more than a solemn voiced announcer relegating it to a “this day in history,” with a picture from the archives to jog our memory.

Gulf Coast Dunes to be Restored in Aftermath of BP Oil Spill

Early restoration of more than 55 acres of dune habitat on the Gulf Coast could start soon after the two-year anniversary of the BP oil spill, according to state and local officials on Thursday.

AP Photographer Talks About Pelicans, Rookeries Before and After the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

I had been taking pictures of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for about a month before I made my first visit to Cat Island on May 22, 2010. I will never forget what I saw there.

2 Years After Spill, Troubling Signs for Life on Seafloor

The scientists were a little tired and burned out. For two weeks, they had been aboard a research ship in the Gulf of Mexico, trying to find and analyze deep-sea communities of coral on the dark bottom, nearly a mile below.


Fukushima Daiichi: Inside the Debacle

More than a year has passed since a massive earthquake and a series of tsunamis triggered the worst accident at a nuclear power plant since Chernobyl in 1986, but the epic debacle at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station remains front and center in Japan, at the very core of a historic debate over the future of nuclear energy—one that comes down to a fundamental question: Should nuclear power, which prior to the accident last year generated 30% of the electricity for the world’s third-largest economy, have any future at all in Japan?

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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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