News Round-Up: December 12, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Landowners Left Out of the Loop on ‘Fracking’ Risks

Natural gas companies that regularly use hydraulic fracturing to drill disclose the risks to shareholders, but not to landowners, according to a report released Monday.

‘Dimock Water’ Becomes Flashpoint for Antidrilling Activists

Other communities have had water problems as a result of nearby Marcellus gas drilling operations, but none has the nationwide name recognition and activist cache as the Susquehanna County town of Dimock.

Wyoming’s Tainted Water Puts Pressure on EPA to Act on Gas Fracking

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report linking hydraulic fracturing for natural gas to groundwater contamination for the first time puts pressure on the agency to move sooner on efforts to regulate drilling.

County Oil and Gas Leasing Just Goes On & On

Athens attorney John Lavelle reported Saturday that a series of lease-signing events for oil-and-gas drilling on the lands of county residents have resulted in far more local landowners signing up than he had initially expected.


More Oil Spill Claims Dismissed

Some oil spill claims from Alabama, Louisiana and three Mexican states were dismissed Friday by the judge overseeing consolidated oil spill litigation from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Matt Reed: BP Fines Should Aid Coasts, Not Congressional Spending

The ocean and our livelihoods need your help. For once, a promising environmental bill has emerged that is affordable, supported by Republicans and Democrats and fair to oil companies. Yet, the bill could die from congressional gridlock and Washington accounting if not for public pressure and support from your U.S. senators and representatives.

Chemical Dispersants Targeted by Democrats’ Bill

Two New York Democrats introduced legislation last week that would bar the use of the kind of chemical dispersants used to break up the massive BP oil spill last year, at least until the Environmental Protection Agency determines whether they are safe.

84% of Florida Voters Support Bill to Spend BP Fines on Gulf Restoration

Eighty-four percent of Florida voters and 92 percent of Panhandle voters support a bill approved by a Senate committee that would ensure the BP oil spill fines are spent on Gulf restoration, according to a new poll released today at news conferences in Tallahassee and Pensacola. The poll also showed 75 percent of Florida voters and 82 percent of Panhandle voters are more likely to support candidates who back the legislation.


NRC’s Man In Japan Opens Up About Fukushima

The Associated Press has an insightful and disturbing report about how the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission came to do two things in the first week following the events at Fukushima which are still producing backlash in Japan and the U.S.

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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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