Today’s essential reads
An Australian-owned company is about to apply for permission to drill the country’s first exploratory hydraulic fracturing well in a bid to exploit the shale gas that could be locked in the rocks deep beneath the earth.
The jobs created relating to this effort are seldom locally procured and in fact most workers are from Texas or other areas where the companies doing the work are located. Much of this is extraction process will ultimately benefit major energy producers such as Exxon, BP, Shell and others.
New Jersey is downstream from a bitter battle over natural gas development in Pennsylvania that involves a controversial drilling practice.
BP OIL SPILL:
The public health crisis caused by the BP oil spill has received little media attention, and even less government help. Gulf Coast residents are trying to change that.
The infamous Deepwater Horizon explosion and the oil spill that followed, also called the Gulf of Mexico or BP oil spill, was the largest-ever marine spill in history. Crude oil gushed from the seafloor for almost three months, before it was capped; and caused extensive damage to marine life, wildlife habitats, affecting the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries.
BP succeeded in sinking the oil from its blown well out of sight — and keeping much of it away from beaches and marshes last year — by dousing the crude with nearly 2 million gallons of toxic chemicals. But the impact on the ecosystem as a whole may have been more damaging than the oil alone.
A Senate committee has approved a Slidell lawmaker’s proposal that would effectively ban the use of dispersants in responding to oil spills in Louisiana waters, which extend three miles into the Gulf of Mexico.
JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS:
The government has decided to abolish the upper cap of radiation exposure for workers at the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, drawing concern from experts, it has been learned.
When the Shimane nuclear plant was first proposed here more than 40 years ago, this rural port town put up such fierce resistance that the plant’s would-be operator, Chugoku Electric, almost scrapped the project. Angry fishermen vowed to defend areas where they had fished and harvested seaweed for generations.