News Round-Up: January 27, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


House Panel to Quiz EPA Research Chief on Pavillion Fracturing Study

A top Environmental Protection Agency official is among those who will appear before a House panel next week regarding the agency’s controversial draft study suggesting a possible link between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyo.

Prospect Of Fracking Causes Concern

The community gathered to learn more about the potential impact of two proposed hydraulic fracturing sites on Saturday.

New York’s Fracking Deliberations Inch Along

In yet another sign that New York has slowed efforts to green-light fracking of natural gas, officials at the state Department of Environmental Conservation canceled a meeting of a drilling advisory panel this week for a second time.

Fracking Company: EPA Decision to Test Contaminated Wells in Dimock “Undercuts” Obama’s Commitment to Natural Gas

President Obama proclaimed his support for safely expanding gas and oil drilling on public lands this week, and the announcement received an uncomfortable applause from a fracking company ensnarled in a ongoing controversy over poisoned water wells used by dozens of families in rural Pennsylvania.


Judge: BP Contract Shielded Transocean in Spill

The rig owner involved in drilling the ill-fated well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico and spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil will not have to pay many of the pollution claims because it was shielded in a contract with well-owner BP, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. The ruling comes as BP, the states affected by the disaster and the federal government are discussing a settlement over the nation’s largest offshore oil spill.

Lawsuit Claims Former BP Employee Was Fired For Refusing To Skew Clean-Up Data

A former employee of BP America is suing the oil company for wrongful termination, alleging that he was canned for refusing to alter data about the progress of the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP Can’t Collect Part of Gulf Spill Costs From Transocean

BP Plc can’t collect from Transocean Ltd. part of the $40 billion in cleanup costs and economic losses caused by the 2010 oil well blowout and Gulf of Mexico spill, a judge ruled. Transocean shares rose on the news.

Op-Ed: The Mississippi Delta Must Be Restored

The Mississippi Delta loses the equivalent of a football field of marshland every hour as it melts into the Gulf of Mexico.  Over the last 75 years, we’ve lost the equivalent of the state of Delaware to erosion.


Experts Cast Doubt on Japan Nuclear Plant Tests

Japanese government ordered tests on all reactors after Fukushima meltdown, but advisers say they do not prove a plant is safe.

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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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