News Round-Up: July 19, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Public Airs Concerns About ‘Fracking’

Ken and Natalie Gaynes drove to Los Alamos from Santa Barbara Monday night because they wanted to know more about hydraulic fracturing, and Roy Howat was there because “he likes to drink water.”

Fracking at Drinking Water Source for 80,000 Pennsylvanians Raises Alarms

Documents and interviews reveal that one Pa. water utility has already leased its watershed to gas drillers — and many others are being courted

No Fracking on Rayburn Allowed

The new method of extracting gas from the shale rock by fracturing the rock with chemicals is causing earthquakes in Arkansas. Using this method of extraction close to Lake Rayburn can destabilize the dam.

2 Groups Sue W. Pa. Sewage Plant Over Marcellus

Two environmental groups have sued a Pittsburgh-area municipal sewage plant that has never formally approved a ban on accepting wastewater from Marcellus Shale drilling, even though the plant’s head says it stopped treating such water months ago.


Feds’ Own Data Raise Questions About Effort to Blame Gulf Fishermen for Sea Turtle Death Spike

There was an outpouring of anger from fishermen at a public meeting held in Mississippi last week to discuss federal plans for addressing a dramatic increase in deaths of endangered sea turtles. The government is considering requiring all shrimpers with skimmer boats to use turtle-excluder devices (TEDs) in their nets — a fix some smaller operations say they can’t afford.

BP — Bankrolling Governments, Bankrupting Coastal Residents

BP has poured almost immeasurable amounts of money into the Gulf Coast since last year’s oil spill, funding everything from ecosystem research to tourism promotion in Shreveport. Meanwhile, restaurant owners, oyster fishermen and others affected by the spill are still forced to sit in plastic chairs outside the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to fight for their relief.

BP Spills 4,200 Gallons of Oil, Methanol, Other Fluids at Prudhoe Bay Facility

DEC officials said the spill happened during a leak test when the pipeline pressure reached its limit and failed.

BP Tries to Slip Away

Slippery BP is trying to escape having to pay any future claims on losses caused by its devastating oil spill last year.


NYT: Radiation-Tainted Beef Spreads Through Japan’s Markets

Even after explosions rocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Kuniaki Sato, who raises cattle here about 20 miles from the crippled complex, said he had received no clear warning from the government about the possible dangers of radiation to his herd.

Japan Bans Beef From Fukushima

Japan announced Tuesday it is banning all shipments of cattle raised in the Fukushima Prefecture amid fears that the meat may have been contaminated from radiation at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.

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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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