News Round-Up: June 7, 2011


Today’s essential reads


NY Assembly Extends Fracking Ban for Another Year

The New York State Assembly on Monday passed a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a method of natural gas drilling already under a temporary ban in the state due to concerns that it might pollute drinking water.

Exxon May Have to Address Fracking-Related Concerns Soon

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping millions of gallons of chemical-laden water into holes drilled deep in the ground to crack open shale rock and release trapped natural gases. Environmentalists and critics of this procedure have expressed concerns that the chemicals used can contaminate water sources. Some critics have also linked fracking with an increase in earthquake activity.

O’Malley Orders Study of Natural Gas Drilling in W. Md.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) issued an executive order Monday calling for a study of drilling for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland — a move that pleased lawmakers who unsuccessfully sought during the recent legislative session to put a two-year moratorium on the controversial process.

Fracking Disclosure Proposal Gets Strong Investor Support, Says Comptroller

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s shareholder resolution seeking greater disclosure of the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) garnered support from investors at Carrizo Oil’s annual meeting last week. The resolution received 43.7 percent of the vote, according to a company filing released today. DiNapoli filed the resolution as trustee of the $140.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), which owns 324,994 Carrizo shares worth an estimated $11.1 million.


Groups Plan to Sue States, Federal Agency Over Failure to Protect Turtles

Conservation groups plan to sue Mississippi and other Gulf states and the National Marine Fisheries Service, claiming they’ve failed to protect endangered sea turtles from death in shrimp nets.

Obama, BP Slammed Over Response to Gulf Oil Spill: Issa Report

While President Barack Obama on Friday was taking bows for what experts concede is a weak economy coupled with disappointing jobs reports, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) slammed the Obama administration for its part in the Gulf Oil Spill crisis.

Women of the Storm Stir Local Governmental Support for Oil Spill Fund

Eighty percent of all fines levied against BP PLC for its April 2010 oil spill should come back to the Gulf Coast to benefit the ones it affected, a group of women told Jackson County supervisors Monday morning.


Heartbreaking Evacuations as Fukushima’s Nuclear Fallout Spreads

Japan has doubled its estimate of the amount of radiation spewed out by the Fukushima nuclear plant in the week after the crisis began. It comes after confirmation that plutonium has been found outside the facility for the first time.

There’s No Easy Escape From Cellphone Risks

Forget whether your cellphone technology is 3G or 4G. It’s time to start worrying about 2B. That’s the World Health Organization’s official designation for chemicals or other agents that may cause cancer in humans. And the radio waves streaming from the world’s 5 billion cellphones have just been added to the WHO’s 2B list.

Human Factor: After the Tumor, Raising the Cell Phone Issue

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.   This week Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to real estate agent Alan Marks. He’s a man  whose determination helped him to overcome his deficits from brain cancer and become one of the leading advocates for cell phone safety. Here is his story in his own words.

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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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