News Round-Up: June 30, 2011


Today’s essential reads.


EPA Fires Its First Shot In The War On Fracking

In terms of regulating the practice of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing used to open up previously unreachable supplies of oil and natural gas, the EPA is still in full “study mode.” Politically speaking, they can’t just jump right in and start regulating.

If You’re a Rural Landowner, Please Educate Yourself About ‘Fracking’

I am writing, as an Athens County resident and landowner of nearly 19 years, to express my ever-increasing concerns about hydraulic fracturing in this county, state, country and much-too soon state parks and forests.

New Jersey Lawmakers Send Christie Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

The New Jersey Legislature sent Republican Governor Chris Christie a measure to ban drilling for natural gas using a process called hydraulic fracturing, which environmental groups say contaminates drinking water.


Congress Should Move to Earmark BP Fines to Fix Environmental Damage in Gulf Coast: An Editorial

When Congress returns from its July Fourth recess, legislation that would give most of BP’s oil spill fines to Gulf Coast states that suffered environmental damage might begin to move at last.

Oil Spill Impact Still Felt at Gulf Coast Beaches (VIDEO)

The NRDC says tarballs and oil continue to impact beaches on the Gulf Coast more than a year after the BP oil spill.

BP Control of Gulf Cleanup Money Interfering with Scientific Integrity of Damage Assessment, Senate Environment Committee Told at Hearing

At a Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife hearing June 28 on “Status of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment,” the chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said that BP’s corporate control of funding was being used to suppress and interfere with the scientific assessment of natural resources damage in the Gulf region from last summer’s Deepwater Horizon oil blowout.

Dead Dolphins and People Still Suffering from Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

More than a year after the Deepwater Horizon spilled nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the thriving waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the death toll continues to rise. Dead dolphins are now being reported at rates far higher than previously revealed.


Nuke Plant Inspections Find Flaws in Disaster Readiness

A special inspection of U.S. nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster in Japan revealed problems with emergency equipment and disaster procedures that are far more pervasive than publicly described by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a review of inspection reports by ProPublica shows.

Experts Can’t Rule Out Cell-Phone Cancer Link

Students, now more than ever, have their cell phones on them at all times, and with smart-phones becoming increasingly popular, cell phones are letting us do a lot more than what they used to just a few years ago. However, a report issued by the World Health Organization in early June highlights the potential risk of cell phone radiation and its association with brain tumors. The announcement gained significant media attention, but health experts worry it is just hype.

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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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