News Round-Up: Decemer 27, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Rick Perry Fracks Up, Denies Link to Groundwater Pollution

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been making headlines for years now. The highly controversial process, and the risks it poses to human health and the environment, has graced magazine stories, spurred investigative reports from the nation’s top newspapers, and been the subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary. But evidently, all that stuff passed right on over Rick Perry’s head.

Water Experts Concerned About Health Risks of Fracking

The National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) includes members of the general public, state and local agencies, and private groups concerned with safe drinking water. It advises the EPA Administrator on everything relating to drinking water and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Fracking Opens Fissures Among States as Drillers Face Many Rules

Pennsylvania regulators ordered Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) to install pressure gauges costing as little as $600 on 114 of its wells after natural gas contaminated drinking water last year.

Ban Gas Fracking To Safeguard Water Supply

ExxonMobil Chairman/CEO Rex Tillerson sounded very confident when he told a congressional hearing last year that extracting natural gas by the “hydraulically fractured” process has not led to even one “reported case of a freshwater aquifer having ever been contaminated.”


Shell Says Leak In Gulf Will Delay Work There

It could be weeks before Shell Oil Co. is able to resume drilling at its Appomattox discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, after a leak of roughly 13,400 gallons of drilling fluids forced it to shut down work at the site.

Bay Oil Spill Killed Herring, NOAA Scientists Report

“Based on what we know about the effects of crude oil on early life stages in fish, we expected to find live embryos with abnormal heart function, so it was a surprise to find so many embryos in the shallow waters literally falling apart,” said Dr. John Incardona, a toxicologist with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center and lead author of the study.

Shell’s Nigeria Oil Spill Gets Muted Response

Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian oil spill, the largest in the African nation since 1998, highlights the different world responses to oil spills.

Chevron’s $1 Billion Bribe Offer to Quash Legal Case Rocks Ecuador

Chevron is remaining silent in the face of mounting evidence that the company tried to bribe Ecuador’s government to quash an $18 billion environmental judgment and that a Chevron official ordered the destruction of documents as part of a broad scheme to duck responsibility for causing extensive pollution in the Amazon rainforest, according to documents and news reports.


Announcement of “Cold Shutdown” of Fukushima Reactors Is Based On a Political Decision, Not Science

The Japanese Government and Tepco say that they have achieved a “cold shutdown” of Fukushima nuclear reactors. Specifically, they claim that the water inside the reactors is now below the boiling point.

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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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