News Round-Up: June 4, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Policy Initiative Spotlight: Does Fracking Increase U.S. Competitiveness?

The transformation of the U.S. energy market created by the new extraction techniques for oil and gas has some predicting a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing based on lower, stable energy costs. In today’s Policy Initiative Spotlight, Renewing America contributor Steven J. Markovich examines those claims and argues that the impact will likely be modest.

States Don’t Meet Global Fracking Guideline, Group Says

States that regulate production of U.S. natural gas using hydraulic fracturing fail to meet international standards developed to prevent the process from damaging natural resources, the Environmental Defense Fund said.

‘Golden Age of Gas’ Threatens Renewable Energy

A “golden age of gas” spurred by a tripling of shale gas from fracking and other sources of unconventional gas by 2035 will stop renewable energy in its tracks if governments don’t take action, the International Energy Agency has warned.

Fracking Protest Aims to Protect Water

The chanting was audible from a block away. “Save our water! Save our water! Save our water!” At least 30 protesters had gathered Saturday outside the Tuscarawas County Courthouse to voice displeasure with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s dealings with oil and gas drillers — “frackers,” as the protesters called them.


Still Too Early to Predict the Future of Shrimping Season

Less than a week after shrimping season opened, the verdict’s still out on what kind of season shrimpers can expect.

Oversight of BP Fine Money Sparks Concern in Legislature

A proposed constitutional amendment that would link any fines resulting from the BP oil spill to coastal-protection projects was changed by a Senate committee Tuesday, prompting concern by special-interest groups about the impact on negotiations under way in Congress.

Gulf Oil Spill Claims Process is Now Governed by Negotiated Settlement

It’s a new era for thousands of victims of BP’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, as facilities supervised by a federal judge will start taking economic-loss and medical claims and begin paying them based on the strict terms of a negotiated settlement. The Deepwater Horizon Claims Center, run by court-appointed administrator Patrick Juneau, will open 18 intake centers across the Gulf Coast next week to accept claims of economic and business losses. Its central offices take up three floors of the Exchange Centre building in downtown New Orleans.

Eighteen Deepwater Horizon Claim Centers Opening

Eighteen Claimant Assistance Centers will open along the Gulf Coast aimed at helping businesses and individuals involved with the class-action lawsuit against BP for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.


?Japan’s Latest Nuclear Crisis: Getting Rid of the Radioactive Debris

Disposing the more than 20 million tons of rubble caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is proving to be a difficult problem for Japan, not least because much of the rubble has been irradiated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The government’s plan — to destroy 4 million tons of potentially radioactive earthquake debris in garbage incinerators around the country — is dividing the nation and further delaying the country’s ability to put Fukushima behind it.

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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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