News Round-Up: January 16, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Fracking Companies Promote Jobs Across US Hoping To Conceal Risks

The “Halliburton loophole” was created by Congress in 2005, at the “urging” of then, Vice President, Dick Cheney (immediate past chairman of Halliburton and beneficiary of a $34 million dollar payout in 1999 before running for office). Despite serious concerns, from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that chemicals used in Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) spoiled and contaminated drinking water, Cheney’s “energy task force” promoted the benefits of fracking and disregarded any references to human health hazards. Halliburton, reportedly earns $1.5 billion a year from its energy operations – which relies heavily on its fracking business.

Lawmakers Focus on Hydraulic Fracturing

After the recent earthquakes in Youngstown, Ohio lawmakers are concentrating on hydraulic fracturing. State Senator Troy Balderson says on Tuesday Ohio lawmakers will travel to the area where they will discuss the issue during several hearings.

The Dangers Associated With Fracking Are Not Worth It

Injection wells, designed to dispose of brine waste, are of great concern for residents in Ohio and particularly Richland County.

Thousands Protest Bulgaria ‘Fracking’ Plans

Several thousand Bulgarians demonstrated across the country on Saturday against plans for shale gas exploration by US companyChevron that they say could harm the environment.


Obama’s Call to Move NOAA Could Undermine Ocean Scientists’ Independence

President Obama has announced a plan to move the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration out of the Commerce Department and into the Department of the Interior. While streamlining government to better serve the American people is a worthy undertaking, this decision could significantly undermine efforts to safeguard our oceans and marine life.

Nome Fuel Delivery Exposes Serious Concerns for Arctic Drilling

Today the Russian tanker Renda, escorted by the United States’ only operating icebreaking vessel, will attempt to make its final push in delivering much-needed fuel to the remote, icebound community of Nome, Alaska.  The ships’ progress has been impeded by high winds, strong currents, brutal cold, and thick sea ice. They moved just 50 feet on Tuesday and slowed even further on Wednesday.  With a 25-foot ice ridge still blocking access to the harbor, the tanker will be forced to attempt offloading its cargo through a mile-long hose to shore.

Coast Ministers to Ask Obama to Push For More BP Claims Payments

Some Gulf Coast ministers feel their congregations haven’t been fairly compensated by BP, so they’re taking their disapproval of the claims process all the way to President Obama’s door step.

USF Study Finds More Sick Fish in Oil Spill Area Than Rest of Gulf of Mexico

A government-funded survey of the entire Gulf of Mexico last summer found more sick fish in the area of the 2010 oil spill than anywhere else, according to the top University of South Florida scientist in charge of the project.


Fukushima Fallout: Thousands Protest Against Nuclear Power in Japan

Thousands of demonstrators hit the streets of Yokohama, Japan on Saturday afternoon calling for an end to nuclear energy in Japan after the Fukushima March 11, 2011 disaster that sparked the planet’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl. The protest began a 2-day conference committed to fostering global momentum against atomic power.

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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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