News Round-Up: December 6, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


State Oil and Gas Regulators Put Off Decision On Fracking Chemical Disclosure Rules

Colorado oil and gas regulators Monday defended what critics claim are watered-down hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure rules, arguing the new regulations can be fine-tuned later to add more public health and environmental protections if necessary.

Colo. Regulators Hold Fracking Disclosure Hearing

Requiring oil and gas companies to publicly disclose what chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing is important, but it’s not the first line of defense for protecting public health and the environment, the director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said Monday.

Fracking for Gas in a Field of Cabbages

The cabbages are impossibly big and as perfect as a high-end grocery store advertisement. In the bright sunshine, alongside the muddy country lane, they seem to capture the essence of autumnal rural England. The gas drilling rig in the adjacent field isn’t quite as picturesque. But if the site’s owner, Cuadrilla Resources, has its way, gas drilled here may turn out to be as essential to a comfortable British winter as a warm plate of Bubble n’ Squeak, potatoes and cabbage.

Panelists Hear Debate About Fracking Fluids

Colorado oil and gas commissioners heard 12 hours of debate over hydraulic fracturing Monday, but they delayed making a decision on a rule that would require companies to reveal the chemicals they use.


States Want to Direct Flow of Gulf Oil Spill Fines

The wish list is long and growing for how best to spend the potential billions of dollars in fines expected for last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP Worker Found ‘Cold’ Pipe On Slope Weeks Before It Blew

The BP lead operator who found signs of a frozen pipeline on Alaska’s North Slope back in November 2009 testified in federal court Monday that he stumbled on the problem accidentally when he was checking other equipment with a hand-held laser device no bigger than a calculator.

Report: Federal RESTORE Act Would Generate Many Jobs for Florida Businesses

A lot of jobs are on the line as Congress prepares to vote on a bill that would set aside the cash BP will eventually pay in fines for last year’s oil spill. That’s according to a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund. The report also concludes those fines could help launch an entire new industry focusing on coastal restoration.

Fox News Anchor Denounces Those Agents of Liberal, Anti-Capitalist Propaganda – The Muppets

The plot of the new Muppets movie involves a rich oil tycoon, Tex Richman, who buys the old Muppets theatre with the dastardly intention of tearing it down to drill for oil under it. “Liberal Hollywood depicting a successful business man as evil? That’s not new,” intoned Fox News Follow The Money anchor Eric Bolling.


TEPCO Injects Nitrogen Into Reactors, Prepares for “Cold Shutdown Condition”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun injecting nitrogen into the pressure vessels of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 3. The action will reduce any buildup of hydrogen in the reactors as TEPCO prepares to announce, as early as next week, its achievement of what the company calls a “cold shutdown condition.” A new “Ask the Expert” post explains how and why TEPCO’s definition of the term differs from common industry usage.

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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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