Today’s Essential Reads
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.
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.
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.
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.”
BP OIL SPILL:
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.
“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.
Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian oil spill, the largest in the African nation since 1998, highlights the different world responses to oil spills.
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.
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.