Today’s essential reads.
The Obama administration has named a blue-ribbon panel to recommend new rules to make so-called “fracking” cleaner and safer. The panel has 90 days to report to President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The group, lead by John Deutch, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been tasked with crafting proposed regulations and environmental policies for state and federal regulators who oversee gas drilling.
Oil companies are not saying what chemicals are used in ‘fracking.’ An Assembly bill would change that.
A larger-than-projected crowd of 150, including teenagers, two activists named Tar Sands Sasquatch and Fracking Leprechaun, marched from the Federal Building to the Live Green Salt Lake City Festival at Library Square on Saturday morning. The parade was part of a global, weeklong awareness campaign about climate disruption, organizers said.
Cornell University and Ithaca College scientists briefed congressional aides Friday on lack of research on health and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing commonly called fracking, a gas-drilling process using many carcinogens according to former studies and attorneys battling the practice.
BP OIL SPILL:
The commission established by the White House last year to investigate the causes of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico says a series of mistakes by BP officials and others at the site led to the disaster. The report is likely to bolster efforts by the Obama administration to more tightly control offshore oil exploration and production.
Americans spent 28 percent more for gasoline during the first three months of 2011 than the same period in 2010. Meanwhile, the big five oil companies—BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell—made 38 percent more profit. The companies then used a major portion of these additional profits to enrich their board of directors, senior managers, and shareholders by purchasing shares of their stock.
Lawmakers filed their final round of legislation for the ongoing regular session last week and included is a batch of bills and resolutions targeting last year’s unprecedented oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
As oil company profits approach levels of three years ago, when gas prices last spiked in the United States, the industry is fighting a renewed push from President Barack Obama and Democrats to end its $4 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies.
JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS:
Radioactive byproducts indicate that nuclear chain reactions must have been burning at the damaged nuclear reactors long after the disaster unfolded
Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected high levels of radioactive
strontium in soil inside the compound of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant.