News Round-Up: May 11, 2011


Today’s essential reads.


NYT: French Lean Toward Ban of a Controversial Gas Extraction Technique

French lawmakers opened debate on Tuesday on proposals to ban a method for extracting oil and gas deposits from shale because of environmental concerns, throwing up the first serious stumbling block to firms that want to use the practice.

Gas From Fracking Dirtier Than Coal?

Hydraulic fracturing, in pursuit of shale gas, can cause serious groundwater problems, which are sometimes excused on the ground that the climate needs natural gas to displace coal. It’s therefore shocking to learn that shale gas could have worse GHG emissions than coal…

Natural Gas Fracking Poisons Water Supplies

Harvesting natural gas by natural fracturing, or fracking, involves injecting large quantities of water and other fluids to fracture deep rock formations thus liberating the methane within.


BP Rejects Claims for Drill-Ban Losses, Cleanup-Boat Damages

BP Plc (BP/) said it isn’t responsible for damages to boats that participated in its oil-spill cleanup program or for the losses of Gulf Coast businesses idled by the U.S. deep-water drilling moratorium.

National Commission on the BP Deepwater

“The well blew out because a number of separate risk factors, oversights, and outright mistakes combined to overwhelm the safeguards meant to prevent just such an event from happening. But most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo can be traced back to a single overarching failure—a failure of management. better management by BP, Halliburton, and Transocean would almost certainly have prevented the blowout by improving the ability of individuals involved to identify the risks they faced, and to properly evaluate, communicate, and address them.”

It’s Time to Protect the Earth’s Final Frontier

There are clear signs that a new Arctic oil rush has begun.

They Have Left, The Oil Has Not

It’s been more than a year since the BP oil spill. After an entire year, things still aren’t fixed, coastlines still aren’t clean and wildlife is still in danger. A year is a long time and while claims from BP and a current lack of media coverage may lead you to believe everything is okay, it isn’t.


Japan to Cancel Plan to Build More Nuclear Plants

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday that Japan would abandon plans to build more nuclear reactors, saying his country needed to “start from scratch” in creating a new energy policy.

EPA Radiation Monitoring Criticized In The Wake Of Japan Tsunami

An environmental watchdog group is criticizing the federal government for scaling back its radiation monitoring, while simultaneously planning to raise allowable levels of radiation releases in food, water and soil after a nuclear incident.

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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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