News Round-Up: May 27, 2011


Today’s essential reads


Fracking: Health and Environmental Problems Associated With Hydraulic Fracturing

There’s been a lot of talk about “fracking”, or hydraulic fracturing, in the media lately, and many may be wondering what it is. Here is a simple overview of what fracking is, and why it’s bad for our health and our planet, and why the oil companies are still promoting it as safe.

Fracking Opens Deep Divisions

Fracking in the Karoo has opened up deep divisions despite the government’s moratorium on all prospecting, pending an investigation into its impact.

Fracking Waste: If It’s Hazardous, It Should be Handled As Such

The controversial gas-drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, creates liquid and solid waste that includes shale, bits of metal, dirt, salt and lubricants. It may also include the chemical elements barium, strontium, lead and mercury.


BP Big Joins in Royal Nosh for Prez

What a difference a year makes . . . Just last May President Obama was blasting BP bigwigs over the Gulf oil spill, deriding their cleanup efforts and suggesting that the oil company’s top exec should be fired.

Safety of Gulf Seafood a Concern

While restaurateurs express confidence in the safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico after last year’s oil spill, consumers aren’t so sure, a poll finds.

BP Oil Spill Partly Blamed for Gulf Dolphin Deaths

The deaths of over 150 dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico so far this year is due in part to the devastating 2010 BP oil spill and the chemical dispersants used to contain it, a report said Thursday.

Dealers Worry Oil Spill Hurting Shrimping in Barataria Bay (Video)

There was little reason to smile at Ditcharo’s Seafood dock in Buras Thursday. Captain Kim Chamblin caught only 300 pounds of shrimp when he expected to catch one thousand. It was not even enough to pay the fuel bill.

Scientists Doubt Claims Methane Gone After BP Spill

Scientists on Thursday cast doubt on a study that claimed bacteria ate nearly all the methane that leaked after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying its methods were flawed.

$6 Million Strike a Small Loss in Long Run

Northwest Florida lost a $6 million skirmish but won a $30 million war Thursday as Gov. Rick Scott vetoed more than $615 million in special-interest projects in the 2011-12 state budge.

Texas Company Resumes Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

A U.S. oil and gas company announced Thursday that it has completed the drilling phase of a deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico, marking another milestone in the slow resumption of drilling in the Gulf after the BP oil spill.


Japanese Scientist: Fukushima Meltdown Occurred Within Hours of Quake

Nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant began melting just five hours after Japan’s March 11 earthquake, a Japanese nuclear engineer told a panel of U.S. scientists Thursday.

Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) held a special ACRS meeting Thursday May 26, 2011 on the current status of Fukushima. Arnie Gundersen was invited to speak for 5 minutes concerning the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident as it pertains to the 23 Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactors (BWR’s) in the US and containment integrity. Mr. Gundersen was the first engineer to brief the NRC on the implication of Main Steam Isolation Valve (MSIV) Leakage in 1974, and he has been studying containment integrity since 1972.

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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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