News Round-Up: May 20, 2011


Today’s essential reads


When is Hazardous Waste not Hazardous Waste? Why When it’s Generated By a Natural Gas Producer, of Course. But NY Has the Chance to Make Things Right.

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.

Texas Fracking Bill Protects Oil and Gas Industry’s Chemical Secrets, Not Citizens’ Health

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 Told It Must Break Itself Up Or Risk Takeover

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.

Disagreements Threaten to Derail Efforts to Save Louisiana’s Coast

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.

Ackerman Calls GOP Bills ‘Big Gift’ to Big Oil at Expense of Environment, Consumer

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.

GCCF to Close Eight Offices Across Gulf Coast

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.

UWF Could Continue Oil Testing

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.

Environmental Groups Call For Open, Fair, Honest, Gulf Restoration Process

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.


Head of Japanese Utility Steps Down After 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’s Apocalyptic Threat Demands Immediate Global Action

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.

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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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