News Round-Up: August 29, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


USGS Scientist: ‘We’re Only Starting to Llearn’ About Fracking, Fluid Injection, Earthquakes

A U.S. Geological Survey scientist Friday said large earthquakes in unusual places like Virginia and southern Colorado earlier this week aren’t typically associated with the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing.

Ballot Referendum Seeks Borough Drilling Ban

Voters in State College will be asked in November to ban the extraction of natural gas within borough limits.

Company to Recycle Water Used in Arkansas Fracking

A Canadian company plans to recycle water used in hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in the Fayetteville Shale and sell it to the companies that use the process to drill for natural gas.

Ohio EPA Proposes Pollution Limits for Drilling

Companies drilling for oil and natural gas in shale formations in Ohio might soon face air pollution limits on new wells.


Offshore Drilling is Dangerous

I am astonished that the Obama administration plans to renew the sale of leases for oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP Accidentally Shoots Polar Bear Then Watches It Die in Alaska

The oil company BP accidentally shot a polar bear near one of its oil fields in Alaska and then monitored the animal as it later died, it has emerged.

BP Prepares to Drill Great Australian Bight

“A White House investigation … uncovered a culture of complacency, cost-cutting and systemic failures and companies unprepared to deal with accidents and consequences.” That was how ABC News on January 18 summed up the findings of the US inquiry into last year’s disaster at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP Spill Victims Win Judge’s Approval to Seek Punitive Damages

Businesses and individuals suing BP Plc (BP/) and other companies involved in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill won a federal judge’s approval to seek punitive damages in pursuing claims of economic and environmental losses.


13 Plants Felt Earthquake, but Reactors Were Spared

The earthquake Tuesday in the Eastern United States was felt at 13 locations with nuclear power plants, from North Carolina to Michigan, but reactors shut down at only one, North Anna in Virginia, 10 miles from the epicenter. There was no damage to nuclear systems at any of the sites, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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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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