Today’s essential reads.
DEC Chief: Regulating Fracking the Most Critical Environmental Issue in the State
Regulating high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the most important environmental issue facing New York in more than a decade, the state’s chief environmental regulator said on Wednesday.
George Washington National Forest Plan Would Prohibit Hydrofracking
Drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale in the George Washington National Forest would be greatly restricted under a draft management plan for the forest, the largest single federal landholding in the Bay watershed.
N.J. Fracking Law Called Misguided by Energy Critics
Bill sponsor Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) said that although Marcellus Shale isn’t concentrated in New Jersey, a deeper vein called Utica Shale does underlie the state. “I would argue that given the advances in extraction technology and based on what I’m reading, it’s not a matter of if the Utica Shale will be exploited, but when,” Gordon said. “My bill recognizes that there’s no drilling in New Jersey now. It’s really a preventative measure.”
Montana Issues Emergency Order for Spill, Holds Exxon Responsible
Montana’s governor declared a state of emergency Tuesday related to a ruptured pipeline that caused tens of thousands of gallons of oil to gush into the Yellowstone River — a break the pipeline’s owner still doesn’t know the cause of, a spokesman said.
Oil and Gas Spills in North Sea Every Week, Papers Reveal
Serious spills of oil and gas from North Sea platforms are occurring at the rate of one a week, undermining oil companies’ claims to be doing everything possible to improve the safety of rigs.
US Approves Shell Deepwater Drilling Permit Despite Legal Challenge
US regulators said Tuesday that Shell can drill an exploratory oil well in its Appomattox prospect, the deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico that environmental groups have targeted for a major legal test of post-Macondo permitting.
Crews Search for Wildlife Harmed By Oil
Representatives from several wildlife organizations were out roaming the riverbank in waders and life jackets on Tuesday in search of wildlife affected by Friday’s oil spill.
Japan Hit By Moderate Earthquake
A moderate earthquake (preliminary magnitude 5.6) has struck near the coast of Honshu, Japan, the US Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed Wednesday.