News Round-Up: May 23, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Group Delivers 21,000 Petitions To Encana Over Fracking In Erie

A group of Colorado mothers hand delivered 21,000 petitions from across the country to the Denver headquarters of Encana Oil and Gas. They want fracking stopped.

Weinstein: EPA, Interior Arrive Late and Uninvited to the Fracking Party

Last month, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency issued 588 pages of new regulations to control alleged “air pollution” from natural-gas wells. The anti-carbon crowd believes that adding another layer of regulatory “oversight,” with its attendant compliance costs, will somehow retard development of this abundant and versatile domestic energy resource.

Ohio Considers Rules That Opponents Say Favor Frackers

The Ohio House is preparing to vote on rules for natural-gas drillers that Republican Governor John Kasich calls among the nation’s toughest, even as environmentalists say they let companies decide which industrial chemicals stay secret.

Fracking Spurs a Municipal Mutiny in Pennsylvania

Not content to leave Pennsylvania communities with any control over gas drilling within their borders, state legislators have stripped municipalities of their zoning authority under Act 13, choosing energy corporations over the people who elected them. This isn’t exactly new ground for the legislature; indeed, taking away communities’ authority to govern themselves is a decades-old pastime in Harrisburg, one that has shifted into high gear over the past 20 years.


Corexit Maker Nalco Gets Louisiana Credits For Plant

Nalco Company, the maker of Corexit used to disperse oil from the BP spill, is using Louisiana state credits to build an $18.7 million polymer facility at its Garyville plant — 35 miles upriver from New Orleans. Critics of that early May announcement wonder why the state continues to subsidize petrochemical plants and why Illinois-based Nalco is being given incentives when cleanup workers in Louisiana are suffering from Corexit sprayed in mid-2010 and later.

California Would Benefit from RESTORE Act’s Ocean Endowment

Watching the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster unfold two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, Californians were reminded of the fouled beaches and oiled wildlife following the Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay in 2007. Californians reached out to Gulf communities right away, sending oil spill experts and volunteers to help with direct disaster response.

BP spills Again at US’s Largest Oil Field

BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. workers were preparing to vacuum up about 4,200 gallons (100 barrels) of crude oil and a smaller amount of produced water that overflowed from a tank at a Prudhoe Bay oil-field facility, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said on Tuesday.

Zoned Treatment in BP Spill Recovery; Some Get A List, Others Potluck

An outlet mall on U.S. 49 in Gulfport won’t be treated the same as an outlet mall in Key West if they both put a claim in the BP oil spill legal settlement.


Concerns Focus on Fukushima Unit Stability

Whether a pool where spent fuel is stored at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant could withstand another strong earthquake has become a source of growing concern.

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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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