News Round-Up: August 11, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Risks To Air and Water Quality, Panel Warns

Hydraulic fracturing, used to drill for natural gas, poses risks to air and water quality, an advisory panel to the Department of Energy said in a report to be released Thursday.

Panel Seeks Stiffer Rules for Drilling of Gas Wells

A federal Department of Energy panel issued recommendations on Thursday for improving the safety and environmental impact of drilling in shale formations for natural gas.

Six of Seven Fracking Committee Members Have Ties to Natural Gas Industry

The government is convening a panel of experts to weigh in on how (and whether) fracking can be made safer. Yay! Six of the seven committee members have financial ties to the natural gas industry — including the chairman, who’s a board member of two energy companies and has received $1.4 million from them over three years. Boo!

Judge Lets U.S. Weigh in Against New York Fracking Lawsuit

The U.S. government won a judge’s permission to advocate for dismissal of a New York lawsuit seeking fuller regulation of natural-gas extraction through hydraulic fracturing.


Gulf Coast Fish Will Be Considered for Endangered Species Act Protection

Today’s publishings in The Federal Register will contain a finding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service stating [that] the saltmarsh topminnow [Fundulus jenkinsi (Evermann]), a small grey-green Gulf Coast fish, is facing such severe threats that the Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a status review to determine if the species warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Chunks Resembling Asphalt Found on Deer Island

BP and the Coast Guard dispatched a SCAT [Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique] team Wednesday to check out a report of asphalt-like material on the bottom of the Mississippi Sound just off Deer Island.

Spill Victims Job Training

You would think most jobs effected by last year’s BP oil spill would be those directly tied to Louisiana’s coast. Well, that’s not the case. Employment experts say the negative ripples encompassed different industries across the state.

US Company Spills Oil In Chinese Waters, State Disclosure Scrutinized

More than two months since the first leak was discovered, U.S. oil giant ConocoPhillips announced Tuesday it was resuming its efforts to clean up the series of oil slicks spilled into China’s Bohai Sea.


Rice Is Next Japanese Food-Radiation Risk From Fukushima Nuclear Fallout

Japan’s rice harvest is a time of festivities celebrated even by the emperor as farmers reap the rewards of four months of labor in a 2,000-year-old tradition. Not this year, with radiation seeping into the soil.

Nuclear Commission Erases Children’s Exposure Data

Japan’s nuclear watchdog has been found to have erased from its website, data on the results of thyroid checkups for children in Fukushima Prefecture.

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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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