News Round-Up: February 6, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


The oil rush in North Dakota has it all. Billions of dollars. Thousands of jobs. “Grapes of Wrath”-like journeys from all across America as people leave desperate situations, hoping for a fresh start. Big business shoe-horning itself into small-town America.

Fracking With a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

Take millions of gallons of natural gas hydro-fracking waste water then pour it down a hole dug thousands of feet down into the bedrock and what do you get? Well, according to the U.S. Department of Energy and other experts, you may get a whole lotta shakin going on. But right now, no regulations are on the books that force the oil and gas industry to take that into consideration when they dig their fracking waste wells—yet.

5 Reasons We Should Be Concerned About Fracking (Film)

We all know that the affordability, efficiency, and sustainability of cleaner, greener energy will be a major challenge for this century.  Some have called natural gas a better and cleaner energy source; yet, even if we set aside this hot air, the process of extracting the gas (called hydraulic fracturing or fracking) proves problematic for both environmentalists as well as those in proximity to the wells.  This article will cover five major problems with fracking, and it is based on two SnagFilms from the After the Goldrush series, which are embedded below.

Canadians Oppose Fracking, Study Finds

The majority of Canadians oppose hydraulic fracturing – better known as “fracking” – and would support a moratorium on the natural gas extraction method, according to a new poll.


Pass the RESTORE Act Now

Reports that BP and the U.S. Justice Department could soon reach a settlement to cover all charges, including fines, related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has raised concerns. The worry is that it could send the money to the Treasury, not to the affected Gulf Coast states for economic and environmental recovery.

Groups Sue to Halt 7-Year Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

Citing the public’s right to know why an oil rig 11 miles off the coast of Louisiana has been leaking oil for seven years, a coalition of watchdog and environmental groups has filed a lawsuit against Taylor Energy Company LLC.

Gulf Oil Spill’s ‘Trial of the Century’ Could End Before It Begins

Some leading analysts and legal observers believe the highly anticipated “trial of the century” over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, set to begin in three weeks, will end before it starts. BP and negotiators for federal and state governments are frantically working to confect a settlement so they won’t have to leave the fate of billions of dollars in potential pollution fines and spill damage payments in the hands of U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.

BP’s Decision to Change Contractors Is An Insult to Alabama

Crowdergulf, the company that has been in charge of keeping Alabama beaches free of oil, is intimately familiar with the areas its workers patrol. But beginning this week, BP will contract with Danos and Curole Marine Contractors of Louisiana to clean the beaches in Alabama and Florida. CrowderGulf, based in Theodore, will no longer oversee the work, though it has a strong track record and is well respected locally.


Bird Population in Collapse Near Fukushima

An upcoming study shows the future for birds and insect life around Fukushima has been badly damaged, an ominous sign of things to come.

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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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