News Round-Up: August 10, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Pro Surfer Chadd Konig to Paddle 250 Miles to Raise Awareness About Hydraulic Fracturing

A pro surfer from Santa Barbara, Calif., is adding another long-distance ocean voyage to his growing resume of environmental activism by paddling 250 miles through cold, sharky waters between Santa Cruz and Point Conception.

Natural Gas Areas Cover Most of Southern Maryland

A new government assessment has identified two areas covering nearly all of Southern Maryland that have the potential for hydraulic fracturing to mine natural gas.

Conservation Group Criticises Fracking Approval

Conservation groups say a shale gas operation starting work in a Mid West nature reserve should have been assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority.

Fracking Issues Require New Laws

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves high-pressure drilling into deep underground rock formations to mine for shale or methane gas. The drilling is vertical until it reaches the relevant rocks, when it will become horizontal. A mixture of water, toxic chemicals and sand is pumped into the rock and the gas released by enlarging small fissures is pumped back to the surface.


Arctic Spill Response: Coast Guard’s Papp Should be Ashamed

Someone needs to get the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, lessons in how to read a chart because he appears clueless about Alaska’s Arctic despite a recent over-flight.

Rig Shortage Means Record $4.5 Billion Blowout Binge: Energy

The five-story-tall valve that failed to stop the biggest offshore U.S. oil spill is heading toward a $4.5 billion surge in orders as deep-water oil explorers seek to minimize costs on the world’s most expensive drilling rig.

Isle Gets Consent to Sue BP

The city council gave Galveston a green light to sue British Petroleum for more than $2 million in lost revenue and tax income in the months and years following the 2010 oil spill that wreacked havoc on coastal states economies.

Lawsuit Seeks Better Regulation of Oil Spill Dispersants

A coalition of fishing, conservation, wildlife and public health groups based in the Gulf Coast and Alaska has filed a citizen lawsuit under the federal Clean Water Act to force the Environmental Protection Agency to stop dragging its feet and issue new rules for chemical dispersants used on oil spills.


NYT: Video Shows Fukushima Crisis Talks

As Hiroko Tabuchi reports in Friday’s New York Times, the Tokyo Electric Power Company released 150 hours of video this week that was recorded during teleconferences last year in the first days of the crisis at the utility’s nuclear plant at Fukushima.

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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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