News Round-Up: December 15, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Judge Lets Fracking Opponents Fight On

The Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition sufficiently pleaded First Amendment violations in its lawsuit against an American-Israeli anti-terror think tank that contracted with Pennsylvania’s Office of Homeland Security to keep tabs on environmentalists’ protests against natural gas drillers, a federal judge ruled.

Fracking Suspected in Rash of Earthquakes in Unlikely Places

Ohio is not exactly earthquake country, and yet the area near Youngstown has been struck nine times in eight months by seismic activity.


The federal government illegally leased 2,700 acres in Monterey and Fresno Counties for oil and gas drilling, which could include fracking, without considering its impact on water quality and protected species, including the California condor, the Center for Biological Diversity says.

Choose Alternative Energies Over Fracking

On Dec. 8, the Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report of a scientific study stating that it was probably extracting natural gas with the fracking method that was the likely cause of contaminated local water supplies in a valley in Wyoming.


The National Energy Board says applicants looking to drill offshore in the Canadian Arctic will be required to make public their safety, contingency, emergency response and environmental protection plans, part of new rules released Thursday.

Engineering Experts Hit Safety Culture In BP Spill

Engineering experts who studied the BP oil spill are blaming what they say are the drilling industry’s inadequate safety practices for many of the bad decisions that led to the nation’s worst offshore spill.

Cutting Crime: A New Solution for Environmental Protection?

If only a proper enforcement mechanism had been in place. Perhaps then the owners of a pair of oil products pipelines in Nebraska would have taken the necessary steps to prevent 119,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel from contaminating the surrounding land and a nearby creek.

Salazar Announces $ For Louisiana Oysters From BP Fund

Louisiana Oysters were on the mind of Interior Secretary of the Interior KenSalazar today as he commended the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees for proposing an initial set of restoration projects in the Gulf Coast region as part of the agreement with BPto fund $1 billion in early restoration projects.  The first phase of projects – made available for public comment today – is comprised of eight projects in four Gulf Coast states that total more than $57 million and include initiatives to restore oyster beds, marshes, dunes and nearshore reefs.


Visiting Japan’s Tsunami-Devastated Towns Eight Months On

Weeks have passed already and a good deal of time has been spent reflecting over my very short but intense trip to Ishinomaki. The town lies in Miyagi prefecture, a few hundred kilometres north of Tokyo and more than 100 kilometres north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear absurdity.

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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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