News Round-Up: July 20, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Woodstock Approves Fracking ProhibitionSteve Israel

This artsy Ulster County town may have virtually no chance of becoming a site for fracking, but just to make sure, it banned it.

Link Between Low Birth Weight and Fracking, Says New Research

New research suggests the health of newborn babies is adversely affected in areas close to sites undertaking natural gas extraction by way of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking; the method of obtaining natural gas by blasting shale with a solution of water and chemicals.

Near Drought Conditions Impacting Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling

On Tuesday, as another round of record heat began pounding the mid-Atlantic region, the Susquehanna River Basin suspended 64 water withdrawal permits, the majority of these suspensions going to in state Marcellus shale gas drillers. As the Susquehanna River and its tributaries now face continued low water conditions, the suspensions were issued to 33 companies in total of which 27 were issued to shale gas drillers. Among them, Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, Talisman Energy, Chevron Appalachia, EXCO, XTO Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas and other drillers.

Talking About Fracking and Its Dangerous Effects On Local Farms With Chef Mary Cleaver

As it stands, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pursuing a plan to allow fracking of the Marcellus region, a shale formation that stretches across 28 counties of New York State near the Pennsylvania border. In case you haven’t seen Josh Fox‘s documentary Gasland — and you should — fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) involves drilling up to 8000 feet into the earth’s core to extract natural gas, then injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and untold numbers of chemicals into the well.


Study Examines 2011 Dolphin Deaths Along Gulf Coast

A new study may solve the mystery about what killed the nearly 200 dead dolphins that washed ashore after the BP Oil Spill.

Two Years After BP, They Wait … and Wait … and Wait

Robert Murray, a Newtown resident for 33 years, was a marketing and sales executive for a shrimp business in Louisiana when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the biggest oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry and killing 11 workers. The catastrophe has blown his life apart as well.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Cleanup Draws Fresh Criticism

With oil from the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico continuing to show up on beaches and in wetlands along Louisiana’s coast, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday passed a resolution criticizing the Coast Guard for prematurely allowing BP to pull cleanup teams from coastal areas it declares clean. The authority passed a second resolution requesting the governor’s office and the state attorney general’s office to brief its members on whether any of the state’s criminal statutes can be applied to BP.

BP’s ‘Spirit of the Gulf’ Olympics Hospitality is Hard to Swallow

While McDonald’s will remain king of the chips at the London 2012 Olympic Games, BP has charged itself with delivering the culinary “spirit of the Gulf”. The Louisiana Office of Tourism announced this week that the oil company would be hosting a series of events for Team USA that will pair three Gulf coast bands with chefs from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida preparing “the world’s freshest and best-tasting seafood”.


Trying to Tally Fukushima

On the slippery question of “How bad was Fukushima,” two Stanford University researchers have published a paper that casts the accident in a new light. It still seems hazy, though.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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