News Round-Up: March 7, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Niagara Falls: Drilling Wastewater Won’t Be Treated Here

Niagara Falls has gone on record against treating wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, with elected officials saying they don’t want the city that endured the Love Canal toxic waste crisis to be a test case for the technology used in gas drilling operations.

Kept in Dark by BC’s Oil and Gas Commission

So here’s the little that we know about a pipeline break that occurred more than half a year ago and that British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) feels for whatever reasons the public is best kept in the dark about.

Governor Hints That Income Tax Rate Cut, Fracking Fees May Be Coming

Gov. John Kasich isn’t offering details yet on plans to levy a new tax on fracking activities while at the same time cutting the state’s income tax rates.

Good Morning California! How Long Have Gas Companies Been Fracking Around In Your Backyard? (VIDEO)

What most Californians don’t realize is that fracking has been taking place throughout their state for over sixty years. US towns and communities have been in the midst of an unprecedented gas drilling boom, using a process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” With each new drill comes frightening reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions.Fracking involves injecting thousands of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals into the earth at extremely high pressure and speeds to fracture underground shale deposits thus releasing natural gas and oil. Homeowners living near fracked wells have been complaining that their drinking water has been contaminated with methane, a key component in natural gas.

Buffalo Common Council Supports Statewide Ban on Fracking

Members of the City of Buffalo Common Council passed a resolution today in support of a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing.


Push to Give Gulf States 80 Percent of BP Oil Spill Fines Hits Stumbling Block

Senate Republicans blocked progress Tuesday on a $109 billion transportation bill, leaving unsettled whether Sen. Mary Landrieu will get a vote on her amendment to give the Gulf states 80 percent of any Clean Water Act fines assessed in the 2010 BP oil spill. Landrieu, D-La., is trying to add her bill, The Restore the Gulf Coast Act to a $109 billion transportation bill pending in the Senate.

Big 6 Oil Companies Complete a Trillion-Dollar Decade

Times are good for the six largest oil companies, with profits easily surpassing the figures from before the 2008 financial meltdown. In 2011 ExxonMobil led the way with profits of $41.1 billion. Shell was in second place at $28.6 billion, followed by Chevron at $26.8 billion and BP at $23.9 billion. Total was back at $15.9 billion and ConocoPhillips trailed at $12.4 billion. All six showed stronger profits than in 2007.

BP Reaches $7.8-Billion Settlement with Oil Spill Plaintiffs

Global oil giant BP has reached a proposed settlement estimated at $7.8 billion with the more than 120,000 plaintiffs in the massive civil lawsuit arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Two Years After BP Oil Spill, Executive Compensation Still Flowing

BP paid out $1.1 million worth of shares on Feb. 15 to former chief executive Tony Hayward under a three-year incentive plan, even though Hayward resigned in the wake of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.


Japan Tsunami Anniversary: Fukushima Residents Live With Fear Of Radiation

Yoshiko Ota keeps her windows shut. She never hangs her laundry outdoors. Fearful of birth defects, she warns her daughters: Never have children.

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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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