News Round-Up: May 25, 2011


Today’s essential reads


Exxon Facing Questions About Natural Gas Push

Exxon Mobil Corp. rode higher oil prices to a $30 billion profit last year. But shareholders at its annual meeting Wednesday were more concerned about its big push into natural gas.

Texas May Be The First State to Pass Fracking Disclosure Legislation

Oil is synonomous with Texas, and a close second is natural gas, as natural gas drilling has increased exponentially in the state. So, it may come as a surprise for most people to hear that Texas is leading the way with landmark fracking disclosure legislation.

Environmentalist Questions Safety of Hydraulic Fracturing, Cost of Natural Gas

Natural gas may not be a viable alternative to oil and coal, an environmental activist charged today, saying extra costs from extracting the earth’s natural gases far outweigh the fuel source’s benefits.


Gulf Coast Lawmakers Split Over Oil Spill Money

Although states on the Gulf Coast could receive anywhere from $5 billion to $20 billion from the fines BP will pay, some congressman and advocates worry that if the individual states keep fighting about how the money should be split, they might get none of it at all.

Poor Shrimp Season Means BP Oil Spill Claims Offices Should Stay Open, Jefferson Parish Officials Say

Plans to close the BP oil spill claims offices in Grand Isle and Lafitte are premature as commercial fishers are suffering through one of the worst shrimp seasons in years, Jefferson Parish officials said.

Gulf Disaster Spurs Safety Innovation

Last year’s deadly oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has become an engine for innovation by energy-services companies and a compelling backdrop against which to roll out new products.

Painting Through the Pain

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had a profound effect on Florida artist Audrey Philips, who grew up enjoying the pristine beaches and waters of Panama City. So she decided to put her feelings onto her canvases.


Holes Feared in Two Japan Nuclear Reactors

Two of the damaged reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan may be riddled with holes, according to the facility’s owner.

The Implications of the Fukushima Accident on the World’s Operating Reactors

(VIDEO) Arnie Gundersen explains how containment vents were added to the GE Mark 1 BWR as a “band aid” 20 years after the plants built in order to prevent an explosion of the notoriously weak Mark 1 containment system. Obviously the containment vent band aid fix did not work since all three units have lost containment integrity and are leaking radioactivity. Gundersen also discusses seismic design flaws, inadequate evacuation planning, and the taxpayer supported nuclear industry liability fund.


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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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