News Round-Up: April 9, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Shale Shocked: “Remarkable Increase” In U.S. Earthquakes “Almost Certainly Manmade”

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) team has found that a sharp jump in earthquakes in America’s heartland appears to be linked to oil and natural gas drilling operations.

Natural Gas Glut Means Drilling Boom Must Slow

The U.S. natural gas market is bursting at the seams. So much natural gas is being produced that soon there may be nowhere left to put the country’s swelling surplus. After years of explosive growth, natural gas producers are retrenching.

Doctors Allowed to Share Fracking Chemicals to Patients

A confidentiality clause in Pennsylvania’s new gas law raises a question of whether doctors can tell patients what chemicals they were exposed to by hydraulic fracturing.

California’s Unregulated Fracking Problem

The situation became less clear after a recent investigative report from D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group explained that California has experienced 60 unregulated years of widespread fracking, whose technical methods and geographical locations in the seismically active state exist outside of the public purview. It got darker after Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration wiped the state government’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) website of fracking fact-sheets and documents. Good luck finding anything about fracking on the governor’s official site either.


Mexico’s Gulf Drilling Plan Causing New Worries

Two years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, Mexico’s state oil company is about to test its hand at drilling at extraordinary depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

69 Spills Reported in North Sea

There have been 69 reported incidents of oil and chemical spills in the North Sea during the last three months, figures have revealed.

Whales Sensed Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Disaster

A technique that monitors whales through the sounds they emit has answered a key issue raised by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago this month.

6 of the Latest Advances in Oil Spill Cleanup

On April 20, 2010, the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 men and releasing as much as 5 million barrels of crude oil into the sea. It is believed that as many as 53,000 barrels of oil a day flowed from the broken well until BP was able to stem the release on July 15, 2010. It was the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history. But perhaps one of the more disturbing aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the cleanup. As experts noted at the time of the disaster, widespread oil spill cleanup technology had not advanced much in the 20 years since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster.


Fukushima Will Start Burning Radioactive Waste

The state will start building storage facilities for debris generated by the March 2011 tsunami as early as May at two locations in a coastal area of Naraha town, Fukushima Prefecture, Environment Ministry and town officials said Saturday.

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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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