News Round-Up: August 23, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Has UT Review Panel Been Compromised by Chair’s Energy Company Ties?

A week ago, we had a story about the naming of a panel put together to review a controversial study of hydraulic fracturing published by the University of Texas.

Broome Medical Agency Asks Vestal to Support Health Study on Fracking

Broome County Medical Society officers on Monday asked Vestal town officials and residents to support an effort to seek funding for a health impact study on hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking Review Sought By Alberta NDP Environment Critic Rachel Notley

The Alberta New Democrats are renewing a call for the provincial government to undertake an independent scientific review of hydraulic fracking.

Ulster County Law to Limit Fracking on County Land

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is signing a law to limit gas drilling that involves blasting chemical-laden water into the ground.


‘Go Coast’ Team Planning for Millions from RESTORE Act

A team of Gulf Coast leaders is developing a plan for restoring parts of South Mississippi damaged by the BP oil spill.  MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the new team, announced by Gov. Phil Bryant yesterday in Biloxi, covers a wide range of recovery issues.

Indian Rocks Beach Explores BP Claim

Indian Rocks Beach commissioners decided to begin the process of potentially making a claim against BP for damages caused by the oil spill in 2010.

BP Missed Important Safety Issues

BP did not focus on the main hazard issues; instead it concentrated on details of personal worker safety. According to U.S. investigators, companies’ (BP Plc and Transocean Ltd) oversight led to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP Plc and Transocean Ltd had lacked clear rules for essential tests, inter alia, test ensuring that Macondo was safely and properly sealed, which triggered the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Louisiana Sinkhole Spurs Evacuations, Lawsuits and a Resignation

After a sinkhole formed in Assumption Parish early this month, hundreds of neighbors fled, lawsuits were filed and Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle resigned. A hole on the edge of a salt dome near Pierre Part, La. — about 80 miles northwest of New Orleans — has grown to 400 feet wide and over 400 feet deep in spots. The salt water or “slurry” within it contains diesel fuel.


Fukushima Nuclear Plant Worker Dies of Heart Attack

A worker at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has died of a heart attack, the operator said Thursday, the fifth death at the power station since it was hit by the tsunami of March 2011.

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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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