News Round-Up: May 13, 2011


Today’s essential reads


The Need to be Seen to be Clean

DRILL rigs tower over the silos on farms in Pennsylvania. Once-empty mesas in western Colorado, where mule deer and sage grouse ranged freely, now look like a neural network from a bird’s-eye view, with well-pads connected by dirt roads scattered across the landscape.

Fracking Chemical Disclosure Bill Blasts Through Texas House, Enviros Unimpressed

In these final days of the 82nd Texas Legislature, lawmakers in Austin are throwing support behind Eastlake Rep. Jim Keffer’s bill that’d require drillers to report the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing at each of their drill sites.

High Methane Levels in Water Wells Near Gas-Drilling Sites

A new study finds that water wells near shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing sites have high levels of potentially explosive methane gas.

Natural Gas Drilling Companies Leasing from Area Landowners

Landmen are talking with Saline County landowners in hopes of leasing land for oil and gas drilling.


NAACP Special Investigation Reveals Broken Promises By BP

A special investigation, “’My Name is 6508799’: State of the Gulf, One Year After the Oil Drilling Disaster,” released April 20 by the NAACP indicates that thousands of Gulf Coast residents are still suffering mild to severe mental health problems stemming from BP oil drilling disaster last year. The investigation’s findings reveal that the impact of the oil spill has led to an overall rise in stress felt by Gulf residents.

Oil CEOs on the Hot Seat

With gas prices above $4 a gallon in much of the country, Democrats and Republicans are squaring off over whether to cut tax credits for oil companies enjoying a banner profit year.

Climate Disasters: Unlikely to be Agents of Progressive Change

Disasters ain’t gonna do it.”Americans won’t wake up and get serious about climate change until there’s a disaster.” I’ve been hearing people say that for years, but more and more lately. There’s always an uptick after a political defeat like the failure of the climate bill.

Increasing U.S. Oil Production Won’t Stop Rising Gasoline Prices

This year’s surge in oil prices and resulting high gasoline prices have many calling for more U.S. oil production as a solution.


After Japan Nuclear Disaster, Extra Scrutiny for Calif. Plants

By June 10, nuclear power plant operators must verify under oath that they have updated and adopted additional safety and equipment procedures mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after the 9/11 attacks.

More Damage Than Expected at Fukushima

One of the reactors at Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant has been damaged more severely than originally thought, officials said Thursday — a serious setback for efforts to stabilize the radiation-leaking complex.

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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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