News Round-Up: March 22, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads

Rosario Dawson Speaks Out About Water and Fracking

Voto Latino Co-Founder and famed actress Rosario Dawson opened up to MTV on many subjects she is passionate about including water, the environment, and making people aware of their rights and their power. Water and the issue of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) rank high up on Dawson’s list of passionate subjects.

Gas Industry Tries to Sell Sportsmen on Hydrofracking

Among the catered tables of eggplant parmesan, chicken teriyaki bites, pizza rolls and deli sandwiches were a handful of information booths and a rostrum where natural gas industry representatives and former regulators made their pitch on hydraulic fracturing.

Tiny Doses of Gas Drilling Chemicals May Have Big Health Effects

The higher the dose, the more dangerous the toxin—that principle is the basis for most regulatory chemical testing in the United States. But a new report [3] shows that even low doses of some toxins can be harmful, and that finding could have implications for the long-standing debate over the chemicals used in natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Fracking Wells’ Air Emissions Pose Health Risks, Study Finds

Chemicals released into the air when natural gas is produced by hydraulic fracturing may pose a health risk to those living nearby, the Colorado School of Public Health said.


Shell’s Lawsuit Against Environmental Organizations Courts Disaster

Shell is suing 12 environmental organizations to preempt legal challenges to exploration in the Arctic Ocean. The environmental groups include, among others, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Audubon Society, Oceana (full disclosure: Oceana is a source for CSRHub ratings) and the Sierra Club. Crazy isn’t it, Shell, a $378 billion company, attacking the National Audubon Society? It’s a bully image that can only hurt, and Shell should know better because it’s happened to them over and over again.

Hood Hires Former AG, Former SC Justice to Handle BP Claims

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood confirmed Tuesday that he has hired a former state attorney general and a former state Supreme Court justice to handle Mississippi’s claims against oil giant BP.

Studies Look at BP Oil Spill’s Effect On Insects

Nearly two years after oil from BP’s busted well in the Gulf of Mexico fouled coastal marshes, scientists are studying the impact on some of the area’s tiniest residents: bugs.

Why the Threat of Prison is Another Risk of Oil Exploration

What happens when you mix a cocktail of scandal, professional ambition, raw emotion, bungled public relations, and the dual scents of oil and money? In Brazil, you get 17 oil executives and rig hands from American companies under threat of decades of imprisonment.


What the Fukushima and BP Disasters Remind Us About Our Failure to Communicate

The recent headlines commanded by two disasters of historic proportions — the anniversary of the tsunami that flooded the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors and the settlement of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill litigation — remind us not only of our vulnerability to catastrophes but also of government officials’ continuing ineptitude in managing communications during crises that threaten the public’s health.

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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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