Todays essential reads
There seems to be no bottom to this “fracking” debate. On one side, you have the energy companies that pump water, sand and chemicals underground in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to unlock pockets of natural gas. The natural gas industry claims that this resource represents a clean alternative to coal and oil. But on the other side of the fence are the environmentalists who say this practice pollutes water supplies.
Now that they’ve succeeded in drawing attention to hydraulic fracturing’s potential harmful effects on water supplies, activists would be wise to adopt a more broad-based approach in their campaign against natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Diversification would force the industry to defend itself on multiple fronts.
BP OIL SPILL:
The use of chemical dispersants to clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast may be more damaging to the ecosystem than the oil itself, according to preliminary findings by University of West Florida researchers.
The Atlantic bluefin tuna currently do not warrant species protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A public meeting of a task force created by President Obama to study how best to restore the Gulf of Mexico following last year’s BP oil spill will be held today in downtown Pensacola.
Japanese opposition parties submitted a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who refused to resign earlier Wednesday over his handling of the crisis caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The incident at Fukushima has raised awareness in the energy sector over the vulnerability of more volatile energy sources, and Statoil is taking notice. Alluding to an increasing demand for renewables in the market, Stale Tungesvik, the head of Statoil’s newly established renewables sector, said, “after the events and up until now there has been a lot, a lot more pressure.”
Some cellphones emit several times more radiation than others, the Environmental Working Group found in one of the most exhaustive studies of its kind.
Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.