News Round-Up: January 23, 2012



EPA Finally Supplies Drinking Water to Pennsylvania Fracking Victims

In yet another case of drinking water contamination in areas where energy companies have engaged in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supplying clean water to some residents of Dimock Township, Pennsylvania (pop.: 1,398), at taxpayer expense.

Colorado Lawmaker to Introduce Fracking Bill

A state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation as early as this week that would give local governments more authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, a move that comes as many local governments have looked to limit or temporarily ban fracking within their boundaries.

Anti-Fracking Group to Submit County Plan

A group of Athens County residents are slated to meet with the County Commission on Tuesday to present a revised draft resolution meant to implement community protections from the impacts of oil and gas “fracking.”

Senators: Raise Bar for Wyo. Frack Study Review

Ten Republican senators have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to subject a draft report that theorizes a link between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater pollution in a Wyoming gas field to a more rigorous level of scientific review than currently planned.


Report: White House Pressured Scientists to Underestimate BP Spill Size

Back at the height of the massive Gulf oil spill in 2010, there was quite a bit of controversy about just how much crude was blasting out of the well. According to new documents that a watchdog group released on Monday, there was heated debate among the scientists who evaluated the flow rate as well.

Has BP Paid its Dues?

It’s been nearly two years since the BP oil spill tore through national headlines.  Although news from Bin Laden’s death to the Republican takeover in the House to Casey Anthony has kept BP off the front page, the question on everyone’s minds remains:  What has BP really done to make up for theDeepwater Horizon oil spill?

Judge Denies BP Request to Penalize Halliburton

A federal judge shot down BP’s request to penalize Halliburton for allegedly destroying damaging evidence about the quality of its cement slurry that went into drilling the oil well that blew out last year and caused the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.

Gulf Coast Residents Still Sick From BP Oil Spill

We’re quickly approaching the two-year anniversary of the tragic BP oil spill: An environmental disaster that left the normally sparkling beaches of the Gulf Coast drowning in a slick of toxic oil.


First Images From Within Fukushima Containment

Today, for the first time, engineers from Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) inserted an endoscopic camera on a flexible cable into the primary containment drywell of reactor unit 2. It passed through the thick reinforced concrete in a 13 mm guide pipe. Tepco had previously practised the same procedure on the undamaged unit 5, bringing back fairly clear images and video of the grid-like steel structures and piping that surround the reactor vessel.

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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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