News Round-Up: February 21, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


How New Fracking Dislosure Laws Stack Up

President Obama vowed in his State of the Union speech to make oil companies provide more disclosure of the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, and last week, the Houston Chronicle obtained a draft proposal of the new federal rules. As Fuelfix reported at the time: The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management has drafted a rule that would require companies to reveal the trade names and purposes of fracturing fluid additives and to name the specific chemicals involved and the volumes they plan to use. The rule also contains a trade-secret exemption if companies can show that state or federal laws and regulations protect the information from public disclosure.

New York Fracking Debate Focuses On Wastewater

One of the most contentious issues in the debate over shale gas drilling in New York’s share of the Marcellus Shale region — how to handle millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater — remains unsettled. As the state ponders final regulations, environmental advocates say the issue is a glaring gap in preparations.

Wyoming Senate Advances Pavillion Water Plan

The Wyoming Senate advanced a proposal to build a $750,000 water cistern system for households near Pavillion because of groundwater allegedly contaminated from hydraulic fracturing.

How Does Fracking Work?

We all know that fracking is a hot-button issue in Athens and around the region. But, do we actually know what fracking is or how it works? In a remote area of Monroe County, farmers Mike and Ruth Partin want to know the answers to those questions.


BP Settles With Injured Deepwater Horizon Worker

BP Plc (BP/), Transocean Ltd. (RIG) and others involved in the operation of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a worker injured in the blast.

Settlement Talks Pick Up Ahead of BP Oil Spill Trial

Nearly two years after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 people and spilled millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the myriad plaintiffs suing BP and other companies over the disaster are about to get their day in court. Or not.

VOICES: Considering BP’s History of Violence

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier decided that in the civil trial against BP for their oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil company’s history of accidents and poor safety records won’t be admissible as evidence. Maybe that’s appropriate; I’m no legal expert so I can’t make that call. I asked Loyola law professor Blaine LeCesne, who specializes in torts and Louisiana civil procedure, about it and he said that it “was absolutely the correct ruling,” especially in terms of streamlining the case for trial — and the trial is what everybody wants to see, except BP.

U.S. in Accord With Mexico on Drilling

The United States and Mexico reached agreement on Monday on regulating oil and gas development along their maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico, ending years of negotiations and potentially opening more than a million acres to deepwater drilling.


Tracking Radiation From Japan to the Pacific Northwest

As the first plumes of radioactive dust began crossing the Pacific from Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors, physicists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory joined an urgent and meticulous tracking effort.

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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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