Today’s essential reads.
Maryland’s attorney general says he plans to sue a gas-drilling company over a spill of thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluid into a Susquehanna River tributary last month.
Angry New Yorkers who oppose hydraulic fracturing in the state again rallied on the steps of West Capitol Park today. They heard both environmentalists’ warnings of the dangers of unregulated hydrofracking and a commitment by lawmakers to passing a bill that fully bans drilling in the state from the bill’s sponsor.
“Big Oil” television commercials are on every night telling us of the great things they do for America. However, they conveniently ignore a recent congressional report that found 14 hydraulic fracturing drilling companies used products that contained 29 chemicals that are known or possible carcinogens and are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. And this doesn’t include hundreds of “trade secret” or “proprietary” chemicals they use.
Maryland intends to sue Chesapeake Energy for violating two federal environmental laws when hydraulic fracturing fluids from one of its Marcellus Shale wells leaked into a creek in northeastern Pennsylvania, Attorney General Douglas Gansler said.
BP OIL SPILL:
In the first quarter of 2011, almost a year after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – recognized as the worst environmental disaster in history, which cost the lives of 11 men and caused massive economic and environmental damage along the Gulf of Mexico coastline – BP was still perceived by Americans as one of the companies with the worst corporate reputation in the USA.
A federal judge has postponed a trial for an offshore service company’s lawsuit against the Interior Department over a moratorium that had suspended deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s oil spill.
A consortium of independent oil and gas companies unveiled a new device in Houston today that it claims will shut off a well gushing at high pressure.
Britain’s new multi-million-pound wellhead capping device to prevent oil leaks may not be strong enough to tackle blowouts on wells in the deepest waters around the British Isles, it is claimed.
JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS:
Japan Atomic Power said it may shut No. 2 reactor at its Tsuruga nuclear plant due to a technical problem.
Workers at Japan’s crippled nuclear plant began putting up equipment on Tuesday to allow the start of repairs to its cooling systems, key to bringing reactors under control after they were badly damaged in the March 11 quake and tsunami.