News Round-Up: August 21, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Fracking Concerns Are Legitimate: International Energy Chief

Hydraulic fracturing’s impact on aquifers, land use and air pollution is a legitimate public concern, said the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fuel Fix reports.

‘Fracking’ Watchdog Group to Expand Into Ohio

A Pennsylvania-based watchdog/tracking agency for hydraulic fracturing is coming to Ohio.

New York To Allow Fracking; State To Provide Guidelines After Labor Day

Despite ongoing protests in hopes to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York, CBS reports the state is about to green-light the controversial practice. An announcement detailing the plan’s regulations is expected soon.

Fracking a Danger to Water Supplies

Hydraulic fracking: The process for extracting natural gas, oil, methane and other minerals and liquids from the earth, by drilling a hole inserting a pipe and encasing the pipe with cement anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 feet under the earth’s surface, injecting water, sand and chemicals under high pressure, thus fracturing the shale deposit and freeing whatever is present. The gas or liquids are supposed to go to the surface through the drill hole. However when the gas and other substances are released, they tend to take the path of least resistance to the surface, not always using the drilled hole to get to the surface, and not always getting to the surface. Sometimes the chemicals used in the fracking process are going into aquifers, thus polluting the aquifer.


Sen. Mary Landrieu Says BP Oil Spill Work Remains to be Completed

In a letter to the Coast Guard, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., says she appreciates “the practical need to wind down response activities” to the 2010 BP oil spill. But there’s still more work to be done, and the Coast Guard needs to keep the pressure on BP, according to Landrieu. Much of Louisiana’s coast is inaccessible, Landrieu said, making it vital that the state ensure that all the oil has been removed before putting an end to monitoring efforts.

BP Oil Leak Effects Still Need Watching

The secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries recalled, for the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association at their annual conference in Chalmette last week, that all those cheery TV spots left the impression that everything was beautiful, and the communities along the Gulf of Mexico had recovered nicely during the couple years since the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon accident. The accident killed 11, injured 17 and released about 200 million gallons of crude oil off the coast of Louisiana.

Fla. Counties Urged To Band Together For More Control Over Oil Spill Money

Commissioners from most of Florida’s Gulf Coast counties meet in Panama City Beach on Aug. 16 to discuss creating a consortium to vote on how to spend oil spill fine money.

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.


Fukushima’s Fish Are Soaked In Record Levels of Radiation

During last year’s nuclear disaster, the deadly radiation inside Fukushima 1 became one with the surrounding environment contaminating everything. Things aren’t getting any better. Record quantities of the deadly radioactive isotope cesium-137 have just been discovered in the fisheries around 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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