Today’s Essential Reads
R.I.P. Talisman Terry. The “friendly Fracosaurus” featured in a 24-page coloring book by Talisman Energy that explained the controversial process of extracting gas from rock formations will no longer be distributed by the company, a spokeswoman told FoxNews.com.
Fracking, the controversial technique for extracting natural gas that energy companies are promoting as America’s path to energy independence, has come to the sunny, idyllic world of Jewish camping.
Actor Mark Ruffalo appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night to speak out about the fracked-upness of of hydraulic fracturing. Ruffalo (not your average greenwashed celebrity) lives in the Catskills with his family, and jumped on top of this cause early on, going beyond the T-shirt-wearing and tweeting that often defines the limits of famous-person activism-lite. He recently produced a video educating New Yorkers about the damage fracking poses to their water quality, and heads to Albany today to lobby against the practice, as he’s done many times before.
The latest draft of guidelines for hydraulic fracturing in New York could open the door to drilling within 1,000 feet of aging underground tunnels that carry water to New York City — a far cry from the seven-mile buffer once sought by city officials.
BP OIL SPILL:
The House Rules Committee refused this week to allow a House vote on a proposal to give Gulf states 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines that eventually will be paid by BP for last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
NOAA’s theory that shrimpers are to blame for almost 1,000 sea-turtle deaths since the BP oil spill unleashed a fury of comments in two languages Wednesday.
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a possible oil spill after five brown pelicans were found covered with oil on California beaches, officials said.
Barely a year has passed since BP established a claims fund to compensate victims along the Gulf of Mexico for the worst oil spill in American history. Yet the oil giant is ready to wrap things up and declare the disaster over. In a letter this month to the third-party claims administrator, BP says the gulf’s “recovery had occurred by the end of 2010” and suggests it’s time to close the checkbook. At the very least, the company said, the gulf recovery warranted a “re-evaluation” of who was owed outstanding damages. This is spin from a company looking to limit its losses. Federal and state officials are only now getting a grasp of the ecological and financial impacts, and they should not let the company off the hook prematurely.
A Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman said the utility started making safety changes before a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel released its report on Japan’s nuclear disaster.
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. have concluded that they have nearly finished the first phase of defusing the nuclear crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to sources.