News Round-Up: December 22, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Hydrofracking Poses Serious Risks to Human Health

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency published a report linking hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to contaminated well-water in Wyoming. While copious anecdotal evidence has hinted at fracking’s dangers, the EPA’s report is among the first to conclusively document the presence of industrial pollutants in groundwater. This smoking gun proves that fracking confers risks to human health — risks that justify suspending the practice.

New Rules for Safety

Santa Barbara County’s oil debate took a significant turn a few days ago when the Board of Supervisors set new rules for oil producers who want to use hydraulic fracturing to extract their product.

Understanding the Possible Effects of Fracking

GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Perry needs to get his facts straight. Verona residents did just that on Thursday, Dec. 15, when they received an eye-opening lesson in the potential hazards of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

Please, ODNR, Don’t Relax Rules On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio

This is an open letter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Hello, folks at ODNR, I understand that part of the ODNR’s purpose is to promote commerce. Other parts are to protect Ohio’s citizens, to provide areas for recreation, etc. Yet there has to be a line, where crossing it constitutes a danger to the taxpayers who pay your salaries. Fracking full force ahead with little meaningful regulation is extremely dangerous.


In Warning to Polluters, Brazil to Impose Record Fine on Chevron and Transocean

On 8 November oil began leaking from well 9-FR-50DP-RJS in 3,930 feet of water in Brazil’s Campo de Frade offshore field, 230 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro state in the Campos Basin. In October the Frade field, which has been in production since 2009, produced 76,000 barrels a day of oil and natural gas. Chevron Corp. maintains that upon receiving approval from the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum on 13 November, its subsidiary Chevron do Brasil Ltd immediately began plugging and abandonment activities and subsequently announced that the oil flow was stopped within four days, although on 24 November Ali Noshiri, president of Chevron for Africa and Latin America, said that the Frade oil spill had been largely contained and that Chevron do Brasil Ltd expected to safely seal the leaking well by mid-December.

BP: Rig Partner Liable For Own Punitive Damages

BP wants to shield itself from having to compensate Halliburton for punitive damages, fines and penalties the cement contractor may face for its role in the deadly 2010 rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Math and Science Students Studying Bacteria From BP Oil Spill

Are the bacteria that the federal government credited for eating oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill still present in the Gulf of Mexico? If so, where? Students at the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science are trying to find out.

Gulf Coast Neighbors Bring Help to People In Need

The truck arrived early in the morning, the first stop on a long trip across the Gulf Coast.


Japan Hopes to Jump-Start Nuclear Disarmament Talks With North Korea

Japan watched its troublesome neighbor North Korea warily and pressed nuclear disarmament efforts this week as some experts warned of potential missile strikes and a refugee humanitarian crisis in the wake of Kim Jong Il’s death.

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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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