News Round-Up: May 29, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


EPA Releases Draft Guidelines on Fracking Permits

Earlier this month, the EPA released a draft version of a guidance document that agency officials hope to use to make decisions about issuing permits for fracking operations that use diesel fluid.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper Makes Warnings On Fracking Agreements

Wading into a controversial subject that has divided some who say that domestic energy production needs to be stepped up while others say the environmental risks are too great, North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper made some recommendations regarding the practice of “fracking,” a process involving water that is used to obtain natural gas from shale deposits underground.

Vermont Becomes First State to Ban Fracking

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law the nation’s first ban on a hotly debated natural-gas-drilling technique that involves blasting chemical-laced water deep into the ground.

Answer Man: What’s the Story Behind Fracking?

Contrary to what you allege, scholarly research has found that the word “fracking” dates back at least 30 years. And here’s the real stunner: Long before it was commonly seen and heard in newspapers and “60 Minutes,” it was widely used among oil- and gas-industry trade journal writers.


Justice Department Probes Whether BP Execs Lied to Congress

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether BP executives lied to Congress about how much oil leaked in the company’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the investigation.

Renowned N.S. Oil Spill Expert Given Job Notice

An internationally respected Nova Scotia-based scientist working for the federal government has been told his job is in danger, CBC News has learned.

NYT: Russian Chief of an Uneasy Joint Venture With BP Resigns

Mikhail Fridman, a billionaire who has clashed with BP in a number of corporate governance disputes over the years, resigned Monday as chief executive of the British oil company’s joint venture in Russia.

Anadarko Claims Act of God in Contract Case After Spill

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., in what will be the first case arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill to go to trial, argues a U.S. ban on deep-water drilling qualified as an act of God that allowed it to end a rig lease.


Radioactive Bluefin Tuna From Japan Caught Off California Coast

Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

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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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