News Round-Up: August 5, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Fracking: Are the Regulators in Bed with the Oil and Gas Industry?

One of the major concerns about the hydraulic fracturing industry is that its method of fracking can pollute and make undrinkable local water supplies. Fracking releases natural gas forcing toxic chemicals and water deep down in the earth to fracture and break up rock formations.

Residents Urge Syracuse Common Council to Ban Hydrofracking

More than 15 people urged Syracuse city councilors today to ban the controversial drilling technique known as hydrofracking, or fracking.

Perfectly Safe? Apparently Not

To hear natural gas industry executives and boosters tell it, it was almost an article of faith: Hydraulic fracturing had never, ever, polluted a single supply of groundwater. Not one. Except, that is, for the one it did. And perhaps hundreds more.

Report: EPA Concluded in 1987 Fracking Was Unsafe

According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article published today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded in 1987 that hydraulic fracturing can contaminate groundwater and private wells.


NYT: Enviro Groups Mull Legal Challenge of Shell’s Arctic Offshore Drilling Plan

Environmental groups yesterday expressed unified opposition to the Interior Department’s conditional approval of Shell Offshore Inc.’s plan to drill four wells in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea beginning next summer and said they are considering their legal options.

Baucus, Tester Introduce Pipeline Safety, Transparency Bill

Senators’ Bill will update Safety Standards to Address Flooding, Make Cleanup Plans Public, and Guarantee Local Communities a Seat at the Table

Oil Spills: Leave Much to Think About

We have all read this summer about the latest oil spill disaster; this one a ruptured Montana pipeline sending an equivalent 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River.

BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund Chief Blasted for Handling of Illness Claims

Before President Obama appointed him to administer the $20 billion compensation fund for the 2010 BP oil disaster, Kenneth Feinberg ran two other disaster-related funds. One was for Vietnam veterans sickened by exposure to the toxic herbicide Agent Orange. The other was for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including those made ill by pollution from the collapse and burning of the Twin Towers.


Highest Indoor Radiation Level Detected at Fukushima Daiichi Plant

Radiation dosages of 5 sieverts per hour were detected indoors on the second floor of the No. 1 reactor at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Tuesday, the highest figure yet indoors, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

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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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