Today’s essential reads.
Texans pride themselves on being the heart of the nation’s oil and gas business. But even here, public concern about natural gas drilling is growing.
A panel of independent scientists reviewing hydraulic fracturing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to release its draft response in mid-May.
Residents fear that fracking for gas will cause permanent harm to their forests, state parks and agricultural fields — in addition to their water and air.
Time and again lately, we’ve received fresh warnings that mining this source of energy is far from a clean process, despite the industry’s often artfully parsed claim that the method of choice — horizontal hydraulic fracturing — is safe.
BP OIL SPILL:
A panel that included a U.S. senator and Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of BP’s $20 billion claims fund, prematurely ended its question and answer session at the Hilton Riverside Hotel when questions were increasingly outweighed by dark comments, including one from a man who called Feinberg a liar.
With their livelihood threatened, many Louisiana fishermen have taken temporary emergency clean-up jobs with BP as part of the oil company’s “Vessels of Opportunity” program. what it’s turning out to be, however, is an opportunity for many of the fishermen to become very ill.
Maybe someone in Congress or the White House would be interested in fast tracking this so that scientists can collect this critical information? Anyone? Why not hand out the federal dollars today and simply charge BP interest so that scientists can start now and the federal government doesn’t lose any money? There are plenty of easy solutions, but the apologists in DC need to step aside and a few leaders need to emerge.
Scientists say it is taking far too long to dole out millions of dollars in BP funds for badly needed Gulf oil spill research, and it could be too late to assess the crude’s impact on pelicans, shrimp and other species by the time studies begin.
JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS:
The Japanese government will shoulder much of the responsibility for a nine-month plan to bring the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant firmly under control, a top adviser to Japan’s prime minister said Monday, as he added to criticism of the plant’s embattled operator.
Veterans of the clean-up after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster received medals Monday from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev but complained of shoddy treatment by the state since their heroism.