News Round-Up: April 6, 2012


Today’s Must-Reads


Chevron Sides With Environmentalists Over Proposed New Jersey Pipeline

Chevron, one of the world’s largest oil companies, is actually on the same side as environmentalists when it comes to the proposed route of a 16 mile long pipeline which would run from New Jersey to Manhattan. The pipeline would carry gas drilled through hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking. The pipeline, proposed by Spectra Energy, would pass through land owned by Chevron’s subsidiary, Texaco.

Hush, Doctors: Gas Industry Gags Physicians

That’s the obvious question that arises from yet another move by the fracking industry, and their BFFs in Pennsylvania government, to keep secret (“proprietary,” if you will) the toxic chemicals that they are injecting into the earth.

DeGette Wants EPA to Consider Recent Study on Fracking

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives want federal regulators to take a close look at a recent Colorado study of the practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

USGS: Recent Earthquakes “Almost Certainly Manmade”

A U.S. Geological Survey research team has linked oil and natural gas drilling operations to a series of recent earthquakes from Alabama to the Northern Rockies.


BP Atlantis Whistleblower Alleges False Claims

A whistleblower who has complained for years that BP didn’t maintain proper engineering documents aboard its Atlantis oil platform, in violation of federal regulations, has now additionally claimed that BP lied to the government about whether the design of most of the platform hull was ever approved by registered engineers. Whistleblower Kenneth Abbott has filed a motion for summary judgment against BP in federal court in Houston.

Mississippi Man Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Tests on Blowout Preventer on Rig in Gulf of Mexico

A Mississippi man pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges he instructed a crew he was supervising on a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico to falsify information regarding the testing of a blowout preventer. Donald Hudson, 49, of Walnut Grove, Miss. was charged with one count of making a false statement to the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General in March 2011. Hudson was working as a manager on rig 206, owned by Helmerich & Payne Inc.

Another Exxon Valdez?

23 years ago, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled more than 11 million gallons of oil into the pristine waters and rich fishing grounds of Prince William Sound.  It was the second largest oil spill ever in U.S. waters, after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, contaminating 1,500 miles of shoreline — about the length of California’s coast.

Total Gas Leak: Was Elgin Platform Leak An Accident Waiting to Happen?

Oil rigs in the North Sea are ‘falling to pieces’, with oil companies taking larger risks in the pursuit of profit during the recession, a safety inspector claims.


Radiation Worries Spur ‘Quackery’ Cures in Japan

In the year-plus since the world’s worst nuclear accident in a quarter-century, Japan saw a run of dubious products aimed at detecting or alleviating radiation’s effects.

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

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