Today’s essential reads
Among the most critical of the many questions New York faces when deciding whether to open up its share of the Marcellus Shale to new natural gas drilling is what to do with the huge quantities of toxic, potentially radioactive wastewater that comes from fracked wells.
Today the Texas Senate heard testimony on legislation touted as a national precedent on public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. But Texans should not be fooled: The bill allows the oil and gas industry to hide details about its use of fracking chemicals, denying citizens the important information that would help them protect their drinking water.
BP OIL SPILL:
BP chief executive Bob Dudley has been warned that he must break up his huge oil business into three separate parts to increase its stock market value or face the possibility of a takeover by the Russians or Chinese.
To learn how rapidly Louisiana’s coastline is changing, no longer is it necessary to find an old timer. “I see erosion out here on a monthly basis,” said Bryan Carter, a 35-year-old captain steering his charter boat in Barataria Bay. In Carter’s relatively short career, navigation in these waters has changed dramatically.
US Congressman Gary L. Ackerman (D-Queens/LI) is chastising House Republicans for pushing through legislation that reduces the ability of the government to mount environmental and regulatory oversight of off-shore drilling, at a time when Big Oil companies are on pace to make record profits.
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility in charge of distributing $20 billion to Gulf Coast residents affected by the BP oil spill has announced it will close and consolidate eight offices.
The Santa Rosa Island Authority is expected to extend a contract with University of West Florida to continue testing two Pensacola Beach sites for toxins found in oil.
Twenty environmental and community-based groups urged the government agencies in charge of restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill to include public input and base research and monitoring on science.
JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS:
The president of Japan’s troubled power company, Tokyo Electric Power, resigned Friday, shouldering responsibility for the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as the utility booked a $15 billion annual loss, the largest by a nonfinancial company in Japanese history.
Fukushima may be in an apocalyptic downward spiral. Forget the corporate-induced media coma that says otherwise…or nothing at all. Lethal radiation is spewing unabated. Emission levels could seriously escalate. There is no end in sight. The potential is many times worse than Chernobyl.