News Round-Up: August 16, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Study Finds High Risk to Drinking Water From Fracking Wastewater

A new study on managing wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing finds the biggest risk of contamination to drinking water supplies occurs during the disposal process.

Precautions Against Fracking

New Yorkers are debating the many serious issues related to the extraction of natural gas from shale deposits that underlie parts of upstate New York. Recent news stories indicate that the state Department of Environmental Conservation may soon begin to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing in our state on a limited basis.

Who’s Watching the Watchers in Review of Controversial UT Fracking Report?

University of Texas prof Chip Groat’s ties to the natural gas industry raised a few eyebrows last month after a report he served as lead researcher on gave the hydraulic fracturing process a clean bill of health. “New Study Shows No Evidence of Groundwater Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing,” the accompanying press release read.

Is Shale Gas the Answer to China’s Energy Needs? Perhaps Not

A new hydraulic fracturing center in Sichuan province represents China’s attempt to gain a foothold in an field that applies hydraulic pressure to penetrate previously inaccessible sources of fuel. “Fracking” has been in practice in the United States for the past six years, and it remains controversial. The concerns surrounding this technology are still vague. Ongoing research, however, is beginning to find potential health and environmental problems associated with fracking.


Keeping Count of Our Sealife

Anecdotal evidence since the 2010 oil spill suggests that some Gulf species have suffered population decreases, which have resulted in lower-than-usual commercial catches and economic turmoil for the industry.

Cleaning Up Oil Spills

When you live in an oil-producing country, with over four million barrels traversing the waters on a daily basis, oil spillage seems par for the course.

Gov’t Finalizes Safety Rule for Offshore Drilling

Government regulators issued a final set of safety rules for offshore drilling Wednesday, fine-tuning a series of emergency measures put in place after the BP oil spill in 2010.

Florida Counties Plan for BP Oil Spill Fines

Representatives from Florida’s 23 Gulf Coast counties are deciding how to best spend billions of dollars in fines that are expected to come from the massive 2010 BP oil spill.


As More About Fukushima Contamination and Casualties Is Known, Japan Proceeding Without Nuclear Reactors

It has been almost 18 months since the disastrous meltdowns struck four nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant in northern Japan. While daily news footage of exploding reactor buildings, emergency workers dressed like spacemen, and officials sweeping radiation detectors over children’s bodies have disappeared, the impact of Fukushima continues.

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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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