News Round-Up: December 21, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


New Investigation Finds Decades of Government Funding Behind Shale Revolution

The technological revolution allowing for the cheap extraction of natural gas from shale occurred thanks to more than three decades of government subsidies for research, demonstration, and production, a new Breakthrough Institute investigation finds.

Pennsylvania Farming Community Turned into Natural Gas Wasteland

The Titchen-Bohlander family has managed its farm, nestled in a lush agricultural community in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, for over 150 years in relative peace and quiet.  But this year is different.

New York Anti-Fracking Activists Put Dimock, Pa. on National Map

The little Pennsylvania town of Dimock has become the symbolic front line of the fightover natural gas drilling. It’s known far and wide as the place where people can set their tap water on fire.

Healthcare and the Marcellus Shale — Fracking’s Consequences in Upstate New York

I went to Stuyvesant High School in New York City, just three blocks from the World Trade Center. On 9/11 I ran from the burning towers and on October 9th, 2001, I returned to a school building contaminated with dust and debris. It would not be fully cleaned until the following summer, and fires that made the air thick with smoke would burn at nearby Ground Zero for several months.


Report Shows 18.5-Mile-Wide Cloud of Air Pollution Rose From the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

According to a study released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the massive plume from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had an additional airborne component – about 8% of the oil from the spill evaporated and formed a cloud of pollution 18.5 miles wide – the size of a large urban area. The amount of airborne organic particles resulting from the evaporated oil was ten times more than what resulted from all surface burning of oil in the wake of the disaster.

Unusual Marine Mammal Deaths on 4 US Coasts

As of this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared three “unusual mortality events” (UME)—unexplained death clusters—for multiple species of marine mammals on four US coastlines: the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bering Sea, and the Chukchi Sea.

Halliburton, BP Trade Accusations Over Gulf Spill

Halliburton is accusing BP of cherry picking facts and testimony to create “an illusion” that Halliburton intentionally destroyed evidence about the quality of cement slurry in an oil well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 workers.

The Future of the Arctic

The above is mostly the legacy of old wells and poor management from the Soviet days, but with the Arctic ice cover melting away, the rush to exploit the area for resources is picking up steam, and Russia is first off the mark, though they hardly alone.


14,000 U.S. Dead in 14 Weeks After Fukushima Meltdown

A peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Health Services estimates 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear reactors. The article by Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman is the first published in a medical journal.

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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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