News Round-Up: June 9, 2011


Today’s essential reads.


Regulations Aren’t Enough to Save Us

Over the past decade, we have seen increasing opposition to the so-called “high- impact” industry of hydraulic fracturing and a growing distrust of regulatory agencies charged with protecting our health and safety.

Assembly Imposes Hydrofracking Moratorium

The State Assembly has passed legislation establishing a one year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York.

As Search for Natural Gas Heats Up, So Too Does Opposition

With rumours of natural gas flowing through these parts and the looming possibility of questionable drilling practices, locals are exclaiming a collective “What the frack?!”


Louisiana: Coast Guard Investigates Origin of Oil Slick in Gulf of Mexico

The Plaquemines Parish president, Billy Nungesser, says oil has been spotted in the waters off the coast near Venice and that he believes the seven-mile slick is from last year’s BP spill. Mr. Nungesser says there have been no recent reports to the Coast Guard of spilled oil in the area. The origin of the oil has not been determined. The Coast Guard has sent pollution investigators to take samples.

$1.5M Available for Gulf Oil Spill Studies

A science panel set up by BP to study the effects of last year’s oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico says it will hand out $1.5 million in grants to scientists.

‘Oily substance’ Investigated in Breton Sound, Renewing BP Oil Spill Fears

Federal and state agencies are investigating what the Coast Guard described as a brown “oily substance” in Breton Sound, raising fears among some Plaquemines Parish officials that oil from last year’s catastrophic BP spill still lingers in the Gulf of Mexico.


Japan’s Earless Rabbit Sparks Worries About Radiation, Mutation

It’s no Godzilla, but an earless rabbit allegedly born near Japan’s severely-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has become the latest poster child for the side-effects of radiation exposure.

Handsets for Cellphones Beat Radiation

Worried about cellphone radiation? The Moshi Moshi handsets for cellphones may be the answer, says Grammatek, which has launched them in South Africa. They reduce radiation by 96 percent.

Effects of Mobile Phone Radiation on Health

Percy Spencer was one of the scientists working on microwave signals during the Second World War. These signals were used by radar machines to detect enemy planes and submarines. Whilst running these experiments, he once noticed that a chocolate bar that he had in his pocket had melted. He suspected that it may have something to do with the signals.

A Towering Problem

While high radiation levels caused by cellphone towers have been evoking safety concerns among the city residents, a recent study by Greenpeace has shown that the operators are also enjoying a lower operating cost using subsidised diesel at the cost of the taxpayer. What is more, the union environment minister himself has voiced concerns against mobile operators using subsidised fuel, which was originally meant to benefit the farmers.

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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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