News Round-Up: May 26, 2011


Today’s essential reads


‘Fracking’ Foes Put Industry on the Defensive

Anyone scoring the ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing would notice that critics of the controversial oil and natural gas extraction process have lately put a few points on the board.

Policy & Regulatory Briefing: Fracking, Energy Acts, and EU Moves to Cut GHGs

Democrats and Republicans are blaming different parties for the cost of gasoline, which lingers near the $4 per gallon mark, Market Watch reports.

Oil Industry Losing the Shale PR Battle

A shale gas wellAs questions about hydraulic fracturing – fracking as it is known in the industry – continue to build, the oil and gas industry is finding investors asking for more transparency as to how companies are going to face the growing risks to production.


Researchers Say Gulf Still Reeling One Year After Spill

Scientists from almost every major public university in Florida are gathering in Orlando the next two days to discuss the impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. They’re reporting that the spill is still affecting the Gulf.

Lawsuit Challenges Delay in Protecting Vanishing Bluefin Tuna

The Center for Biological Diversity formally notified the National Marine Fisheries Service today that it intends to sue the agency for failing to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna under the Endangered Species Act. The tuna, which migrates across the Atlantic to spawn in the Gulf of Mexico, faces extinction due to severe overfishing and habitat degradation, including effects of the BP oil spill. The Center filed a petition to protect bluefin tuna as endangered on May 24, 2010; by law the agency has one year to determine if the fish merits endangered status.

Obama Buys BP Gas at $8.40/Gallon

President Barack Obama denounced British Petroleum (BP) last year for the massive oil spill at the Gulf of Mexico. But that won’t stop him from fueling up his entire fleet of vehicles at a BP gas station and pay $8.40/gallon during a state visit to Great Britain. Meanwhile, he ordered U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate American oil companies for alleged price gouging at the gas pump.

Ohio GOP Want to Drill For Oil in Lake Erie

“On June 22, 1969, an oil slick and debris in the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio,” explains Ohio History Central.  There were nine fires on the river before then.  “The 1952 fire [see photo] caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage.”

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.


Greenpeace Warns of Radioactive Sea Life Off Japan

Environmental group Greenpeace warned Thursday that marine life it tested more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) off Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant showed radiation far above legal limits.

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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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