News Round-Up: April 27, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


NC Lawyer: Landowners Must Take Care On Fracking

North Carolina landowners should be extremely careful when considering ceding drilling rights and legislators should require more information and protections for residents as the General Assembly evaluates whether to allow fracking, a state attorney said Thursday.

Bethel Adopts Anti-Fracking Law, Citing Threat to Clean Air, Water

This town that’s renowned as the home of the 1969 Woodstock festival earned another distinction Thursday night: Bethel became the largest Sullivan County town to ban gas drilling.

O’Malley, Give the Fracking Study More Time (and Maybe Some Money)!

A commission set up to investigate the ins and outs of using hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – to extract natural gas in western Maryland is asking Gov. Martin O’Malley for four more months to complete the study, after the group determined that there was no way to “do the report right” in the allotted time. The commission also finds itself low on funds, since a measure that would require gas companies to foot the bill for the impact study died in the General Assembly.

Sullivan Legislators Unanimous on Fracking Moratorium

The resolution expresses the sentiment of the Sullivan County Legislature, but not necessarily of all county residents.  It was a memorializing resolution requesting New York State to declare a moratorium on natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing.


Criminal Charges on BP Gngineer Are a Welcome Step in Federal Investigation of Oil Spill

The arrest this week of a BP engineer on allegations that he destroyed evidence related to the 2010 oil spill is a significant development and a good sign that the Justice Department intends to aggressively pursue criminal violations related to the disaster.

BP’s $7.8 Billion Settlement Days Away From Preliminary Approval, U.S. Judge Says

The first chapter in a saga of litigation and claims for damages following the BP 2010 Gulf oil spill is just days away from being finished.

Ala. AG Says Work on BP Case Nearing Fruition

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has spent much of the 15 months he has been in office pursuing efforts to recover losses by Alabama and other states because of the massive BP oil spill.

Judge: Leaning toward approving huge BP settlement in Gulf oil spill

?A judge on Wednesday said he was leaning toward approving the settlement proposed by BP and a coalition of plaintiffs’ lawyers to compensate individuals and businesses for the 2010 Gulf oil spill.


Two Meltdowns: Fukushima and the US Economy

More than a year after a tsunami swamped the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plants, the radiation peril continues — reactor 4 is teetering on the edge of collapse, which would force the evacuation of one-third of Japan’s population. The meltdown at Fukushima parallels the meltdown of the US economy.

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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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