News Round-Up: May 10, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Vermont to Be First State to Outlaw Fracking

According to Reuters, Vermont is set to be the first state to outlaw the practice of hydraulic fracturing once the bill hits Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk.

City Council Acts to Ban ‘Fracking’ in Water Supply Area

Athens City Council made several moves on Monday to further expressing its opposition to oil and gas drilling in sensitive areas, specifically the city’s wellhead protection zone and the Wayne National Forest.

EPA Drafts Program for Using Diesel Fuel During Fracking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released a draft underground injection control program permitting guidance for class II wells that use diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities.

Drillers Buzz: Fracking, Geothermal Issues

New and pending requirements for the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations are among the top regulatory issues at a regional natural-gas and oil industry two-day conference that will wrap up today.


Poll Documents Ongoing Emotional Harm From BP Oil Disaster

Two years after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Coast residents continue to suffer emotional fallout from the disaster.

Big Oil Attempts to Duck Enviro Damage

While public attention has focused on education and retirement issues in this year’s legislative session, often ignored are a series of bills that could redefine the relationship between Louisiana landowners and the oil and gas companies that drill the huge finds of natural gas and oil throughout the state.

Mayor: Tar Mat, Sheen Samples Belong to BP

Samples from an oil sheen discovered at Perdido Pass over the weekend have been sent to a lab for testing, the U.S. Coast Guard said. They hope to determine if that mess is a remnant of the BP oil spill disaster. Those results should be back Thursday.

Petro Plutocracy

Last week, the world got a preview of America’s new post Citizens United petro plutocracy with the oil lords flexing their political muscles like oil soaked body builders pumped up on a steroid drip of campaign dollars.  It was all about fracking.  The petro tycoons first orchestrated the forced resignation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) top frack-patch enforcer, then adeptly forced the same cowed agency to stall its release of a damaging scientific study on fracking and finally strong armed the Interior Department to open America’s public lands to gas companies without prior disclosure of their frack chemicals.


Japan To Take Over Fukushima Plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co., Japan’s biggest utility and owner of the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant, will be taken over by the government after the country’s trade minister on Wednesday approved a $12.5-billion capital injection.

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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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