News Round-Up: June 29, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Senate Approves Fracking Bill, Sent to Governor

Legislation to legalize a new method of natural gas drilling in North Carolina known as fracking is now in the hands of Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Fracking Industry Enjoyed Privileged Access to Controversial New York DEC Environmental Review

Documents obtained by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) show that bureaucrats within the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC) granted the oil and gas industry premature access to highly controversial draft regulations for shale gas fracking in the state. New York placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for gas in order to evaluate the science on the risks posed to drinking water, air quality and the health of New York’s citizens and the environment.

Passion Rules When It Comes to Hydrofracking

There’s little doubt that hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as hydrofracking, is controversial. There’s also little doubt those on both sides of the issue are passionate in their beliefs. And for both groups, the debate continues to grow in the mid-Atlantic region where many are clamoring for more fracking while others want it stopped altogether.

NJ Senate to Vote On Fracking Byproduct Ban

Lawmakers are set to consider a bill prohibiting hydraulic fracturing byproducts created in other states from entering New Jersey.


Republicans Fault Obama Oil Plan Environmentalists See as Risky

The Obama administration’s latest five-year oil-leasing plan angered Republicans, who sought to open more areas for drilling, and environmentalists, who said drilling may lead to disasters similar to BP Plc’s (BP/) 2010 spill.

Scientists Researching Effect of Oil Spill On Endangered Turtles

Ninety-four tiny members of the world’s most endangered sea turtle species struggled across the beach to reach the Gulf of Mexico Thursday as park rangers waved away seagulls looking for a quick meal.

Administration’s New Plan for Drilling in Our Oceans is Too Aggressive

The Interior Department is set to release its five-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan covering the period 2012 to 2017. Under this plan, the Administration will allow further leasing in the fragile Arctic Ocean and offer up new tracts in the Gulf of Mexico.  While the plan keeps the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts off-limits for leasing and drilling for the next five years, the Administration separately has started an environmental review process that could eventually lead to leasing in the mid and south Atlantic Ocean.

Measure Dedicating Spill Fines to Gulf Moves Closer to Passage

House and Senate committees have reached agreement on legislation that would direct most fines resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to environmental restoration in the five Gulf Coast states.


Fukushima Watch: Lawmakers Rank the Safety of Japan’s 50 Reactors

In a country as small, crowded and earthquake-prone as Japan, vetting nuclear reactors for safety is key — as the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi showed. Japan is the only economy, besides Taiwan, that has so many nuclear plants in quake zones.

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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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