News Round-Up: June 6, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Squeezing the Shale: Contaminated Water, Cancer Potential Dangers of Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as it’s known, carries with it certain risks, but some experts say the benefits and dollars outweigh environmental concerns.

Fort Collins City Council to Consider Oil and Gas Permit Moratorium

Tonight Fort Collins City Council will give the final thumbs up or down on a temporary moratorium that would pause city processing of land use applications and permits for oil and gas extraction.

Water Sale for Fracking

Amid some concerns from residents, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is moving forward with a study to determine if three of the district’s reservoirs can withstand the sale of water for use in fracking wells.

Longmont on the Front Lines of Fracking Controversy

The ballot box is shaping up to be the new frontline in the battle over the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing.

“What the Frack” with Alec Baldwin Brings Out Several Hundred Anti-fracking Activists and Central New York State Residents

Emmy award winning actor and 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin hosted “What the Frack” this past Saturday at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse. The event featured a viewing of Gasland, the 2010 Academy Award-nominated documentary by Josh Fox, and a panel of speakers that included the well-known biologist and advocate Dr. Sandra Steingraber, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell University, and Kate Hudson of Riverkeeper.


BP Presses Federal Government to Disclose Documents in Court

In a letter filed in federal court Tuesday, the U.S. government charges that if BP is successful at forcing the release of 21 pieces of correspondence about responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, it will harm future disaster response efforts because public officials won’t be able to confer frankly about the challenges before them. U.S. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Himmelhoch told Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan that the U.S. government has produced millions of documents in the litigation, and only wants to keep 119 documents confidential, but BP continues to try to force the government to disclose 21 of them. The documents involve communications between top Obama Administration officials in the White House, Department of Energy, Department of Interior and Department of Homeland Security.

Louisiana: Two Scientists Surrender E-Mail to BP

Two prominent scientists involved in estimating the flow rate from a ruptured oil well during BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have surrendered more than 3,000 of their private e-mails to the company in response to a subpoena by the United States District Court in New Orleans. BP sought the e-mails from the scientists, Chris Reddy and Richard Camilli of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, to help prepare its defense in a lawsuit brought by the federal government.

Objections to BP Settlement Require Separate Docket

The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation has set up a separate docket to handle a growing list of objections to the proposed $7.8 billion settlement with BP PLC. More than 35 objections arrived on the first day.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meets New Orleans

The effects of the just-ended legislative session, the aftermath of the BP oil spill and the fight against coastal erosion — all are on the agenda for the latest meeting of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.


Japan Considers Nuclear-Free Future

It’s official: nuclear power will have a much smaller role in Japan’s energy future than was once thought. Since the meltdowns and gas explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in March 2011, all of Japan’s remaining reactors have been shut down for inspections and maintenance. Last week the government offered a glimpse of their future, and that of the country’s nuclear power in general, when it published an outline of four ways to satisfy Japan’s future energy demands. One scenario recommends using a market mechanism to determine the nuclear contribution. Under the other three, nuclear power would supply at most one-quarter of Japan’s energy by 2030 — and in one case, none at all.

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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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