News Round-Up: June 27, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Fracking Moratorium Advances in California Legislature

A key Senate panel on Tuesday supported legislation that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing in California until regulators write rules governing the controversial procedure.

OSHA: Overexposure to Silica a Health Hazard for Workers in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

Workplace safety regulators say that workers in the hydraulic fracturing industry are at risk of serious health effects from respiratory exposure to silica.

Gas Planet: A Special Radio Show On the Impact of Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked vast reserves of natural gas once thought unreachable. This natural gas is touted as a cleaner fuel that can reduce carbon emissions. But new research is bringing that into question.

Wyoming Groups, Governor Laud Fracking Rules Delay

Wyoming’s governor, its oil and gas industry, a key legislator and a conservation group in the state agree on at least one thing: A federal decision to delay rules for hydraulic fracturing is a good thing.


BP Investigate Fatal Explosion at Natural Gas Station in Colorado

Following an explosion at a natural gas compressor station in western Colorado, which killed one worker and injured two more, BP has launched a full investigation into the cause.

BP Sells Wyoming Gas Fields for $1bn

The wells in the Jonah and Pinedale fields in the east of the state have been purchased by LINN Energy, a Houston-based oil and gas explorer. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of next month.

Deal Tying BP Oil Spill Fines to Transportation Bill Getting Close

Senate and House negotiators are nearing agreement on a two-year transportation bill that includes key components of legislation that would funnel billions of dollars in fines from the 2010 BP oil spill to the five Gulf States. “This is what we’re been working for,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., as news of a possible transportation deal surfaced Tuesday afternoon that includes a measure known as the Restore Act. It would allocate 80 percent of any Clean Water Act fines for the massive spill to Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

Marsh Grasses Killed by BP Oil Spill but Protected Inner Marshes

The BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 worsened some already existing problems in Louisiana’s salt marshes, but a study from the University of Florida found that marsh grasses also stopped the oils spread.


Tepco Detects Record Radiation Levels at Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501.TO), the operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said Wednesday record amounts of radiation had been detected in the basement of reactor No. 1, further hampering clean-up operations.

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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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