News Round-Up: May 22, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Health Study May Examine Impact of Shale Gas Sector

New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health says she will make recommendations later this summer on how the provincial government will track the health effects of the shale gas industry.

Estimates Lowered On N.C.’s Natural Gas Supply

Fracking was originally billed as the golden key to unlocking a 40-year supply of natural gas and reversing North Carolina’s dependency on other states for energy. Proponents said it was the state’s ticket to an economic revival and newfound status as an energy supplier.

Oil And Gas Link To Texas Earthquakes Studied

Scientists from two Texas universities are looking into a pair of recent earthquakes near the Texas-Louisiana border for clues to whether they were related to underground injection of oil and gas drilling waste produced in the course of hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

NC Governor Issues Order to Develop Fracking Rules

Gov. Beverly Perdue sought Monday to set the table for how North Carolina would seek to permit shale gas exploration and production with an executive order directing a workgroup to make regulatory recommendations.


BP Gulf Spill: A Coverup Within a Coverup (VIDEO)

The BP gulf oil disaster has been the subject of a lot of examination, and recent examination shows that there’s more of a coverup then perhaps we have known. One of the people who’s done a lot of work on this is investigative journalist Greg Palast.

Plaquemines Seeks to Restore Cat Island in Barataria Basin

Plaquemines Parish plans to restore tiny Cat Island so it doesn’t disappear.

Scientists Work to Bridge Political Gap Between Cuba, U.S.

Cuban and American scientists have joined forces in an effort to protect baby sea turtles and endangered sharks. They’re studying Caribbean weather patterns that fuel the hurricanes that have devastated the Southeastern United States.

Analysis: The Landmine That Could Explode BP’s $7.8 Billion Deal

BP Plc (BP.L) appears to be well on its way to concluding an estimated $7.8 billion settlement to resolve most of its civil liability from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But a potential landmine lurks in the settlement documents: under certain circumstances, the company can invoke a little-noticed provision that allows it to walk away from the deal.

Dear Shell: Please Be Honest About Risks from Your Arctic Ocean Oil Drilling This Summer

The letter below was sent to Royal Dutch Shell at The Hague and Alaska, seeking their confirmation and clarification of several important issues regarding Shell’s Arctic Ocean drilling plans this summer off northern Alaska. Alaskans have a lot of experience with broken promises, deceptions, and misrepresentations from oil companies over the past 40 years (e.g., Exxon Valdez, BP spills onshore in the Arctic, etc.), as well with oil executives simply picking up and running south after problems arise.


Fukushima Disaster Signals Decline of Nuclear Power

On May 5, 2012, Japan shut down its Tomari 3 nuclear reactor on the northern island of Hokkaido for inspection, marking the first time in over 40 years that the country had not a single nuclear power plant generating electricity. The March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown shattered public confidence in atomic energy, thus far making it politically impossible to restart any of the reactors taken offline.

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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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