News Round-Up: May 15, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Deadliest Danger Isn’t at the Rig but on the Road

After working 17 hours straight at a natural gas well in Ohio, Timothy Roth and three other crew members climbed into their company truck around 10 o’clock one night last July and began their four-hour drive back to their drilling service company’s shop in West Virginia.

NY Anti-Fracking Movement Gets Star-Studded Boost

The anti-fracking movement in New York state is turning up the star power with a rally and concert hosted by actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo and featuring Natalie Merchant, John Sebastian, Joan Osborne and a host of other performers.

Forest Fracking: Renewed Interest in Drilling in the Wayne Irks Some

Almost 500 people from multiple Ohio counties have signed a petition urging officials with the Wayne National Forest not to lease forest land for hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method for drawing oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits.

EPA Set to Regulate “Hydraulic Fracture” Mining on Federal Land

Just about everything we encounter in our daily lives, from the light we switch on in the morning to the metal eyelets in our hiking boots, is the direct or indirect result of some mining activity somewhere. Even our natural fiber clothes are not only stitched together on sewing machines, but are affordable because mining makes the machinery possible that can mass produce them. Quite simply, our standard of living, including modern medicine, water delivery and waste disposal systems, an abundance of food, and modern communications, would not be possible for anyone, including EPA bureaucrats, if all mining activity were to stop.

Feds Punt on Leadership Over Fracking Rules, Experts Say

New BLM rule stands up well next to state regulations, says one scientist. “But unfortunately, that’s because most state regulations are very poor.”


Oil Seeps and Slicks Studied Near BP’s Macondo Well

Scientists say oil and gas seeps surrounding BP’s Deepwater Horizon well appear to be mostly natural and to pre-date the 2010 spill. But some experts wonder if at least some of the seeps might have been caused or expanded by activity at the well. They worry subsea rock near the well may have been fractured. And they’re waiting to learn more from data collected by the National National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and also from the Natural Resource Damage Assess­ment process—under way now in response to the spill.

BP Trying to Get Past the You-Know-What With Olympic Sponsorship

Among the many companies sponsoring this year’s Summer Olympic Games in London is BP, which is trying to use the event to further distance itself from the Gulf oil spill. And, in the process, proving that a company in a crisis just might throw anything out there in the hopes of cutting free from an atrocious reputation that’s sticking like a barnacle to the bottom of a ship.

Ex-BP Engineer Mix Says Evidence May Clear Him in Spill Case

A former BP Plc (BP/) engineer charged with destroying evidence sought for a U.S probe of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill said a “third party” is withholding information that could clear him, according to court filings.

Gulf Oil Spill Lawyers Request Compensation Fund

BP and the attorneys for private plaintiffs in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill litigation have asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to create a common benefit fee and cost fund to compensate plaintiff attorneys for reaching a settlement agreement in a portion of the case.


Tepco Chairman Plays Down Role in Disaster Readiness, Response

The chairman of the Fukushima Dai- Ichi atomic station’s operator deferred responsibility for its readiness and response to last year’s nuclear crisis, saying such measures were up to the company’s president.

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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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