News Round-Up: January 6, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Confirmed: Fracking Caused Ohio Earthquakes

Ohio lawmakers have put a temporary ban on fracking after experts say it is certain that recent fracking in the Buckeye State caused an outbreak of earthquakes.

EPA May Retest PA. Water Near Fracking

Federal regulators are considering retesting water supplies at a small town in Pennsylvania that residents say have been contaminated by natural gas drilling.

Hydraulic Fracturing: What the Frack Are We Doing to the Planet?

If you’re like me, when you first saw the headline about fracking, you went and looked at it because of the obvious Battlestar Galactica reference. That’s not the case here, however, and in this case it’s a real problem that studies are only now bringing to light. Recent information suggests that there might be a connection between the practice of hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes in an Ohio town, as reported by the Youngstown Vindicator.

Ontario Looks Into Blocking Fracking Waste Injection Wells

Council asked the city’s planning commission Thursday night to look into prohibiting the dumping of fracking waste in Ontario. The request came as a result of local concerns about two proposed brine-disposal injection wells to be drilled on the north side of Mansfield.


Oil Spill Cleanup Worker Files Lawsuit After Suffering Respiratory Failure

An oil spill cleanup worker has filed a lawsuit against his employer after he suffered respiratory failure as a result of exposure to oil products. Luke Boudreaux filed the lawsuit against Craig Creppel and the DRC Group on Dec. 29, 2011 in federal court in New Orleans.

Halliburton Denies Destroying Evidence in BP Oil Spill Case

Halliburton Co. (HAL) denied BP Plc (BP/)’s accusation that engineers destroyed testing evidence to keep it from being used in litigation over the Gulf of Mexico rig blast that triggered the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

BP Tries to Shift Costs From Spill

BP said in a court filing on Monday that all of its costs and damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill should be paid by Halliburton, its cement contractor for the Macondo well project.

Editorial: Oil Spill Decision Wrong

We’re pleased to see the Gulf Coast Claims Facility resuming payments to BP oil spill victims after only a brief halt. But the halt itself indicates that the victims are still not getting the priority they deserve.


Nuclear Power and The Press: Getting It Right vs. Making A Splash

Last year (actually a couple of months ago), someone shared an article on a Columbia Journalism Review critique of an Associated Press article on possible cancer risks from Fukushima. The review points out that the article gets the facts right, but spins the message. For example, the title of the article is “Future cancers from Fukushima plant may be hidden.” The first line of the article says, “Even if the worst nuclear accident in 25 years leads to many people developing cancer, we may never find out.”

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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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