News Round-Up: November 10, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


On the Shore of Lake Cayuga

But, as Shakespeare once wrote, “…all that glisters is not gold.” The ground began to shake, meetings were called, John researched the problem and Janice set out with petitions among her neighbors. Their fears of cross-burnings in the South had been replaced with fears of death by fracking.

Fracking Pros And Cons: Weighing In On Hydraulic Fracturing

Last Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its final research plan to study the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and its long-term impacts on the environment.

What the Frack?

In response to public concern over expanding shale exploration and “fracking” oil-extraction methods, the U.S. Interior Department plans to begin forcing oil companies to document the chemicals they use in the drilling process.

Next Frontier in Natural Gas Wars: Psy Ops

It’s one thing to say that Pennsylvania has become a battleground in the debate over natural gas extraction. But it’s quite another to actually endorse and employ counterinsurgency tactics to fight opponents of hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process used to extract the gas from the ground. But that appears to be exactly what industry insiders called for at a recent conference.


BP, Coast Guard Unveil Plan to Stop Oil Spill Cleanup

The U.S. Coast Guard and BP PLC have agreed on a plan to determine when oil spill cleanup work can stop along sections of the Gulf Coast, the company said Wednesday.

BRAF Denies Mishandling Oil Spill Claims

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation says it did not mishandle claims made by those who have sought money from a $100 million fund established by BP to offset income losses caused by the federal drilling moratorium put in place following the last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Cleanup Continues on Fourchon

BP workers are still picking up oil from last year’s disaster in the Gulf, unearthed and washed up on Fourchon Beach after Tropical Storm Lee.

Louisiana Refuses to Sign BP-Coast Guard Oil Spill Cleanup Transition Plan

The state of Louisiana has refused to sign off on a Coast Guard-BP plan to transition from a cleanup program to a long-term recovery in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, charging that the plan leaves coastal beaches and wetlands vulnerable to continued oil contamination with no guarantee that BP will be required to pay for future cleanups.


Japanese Regulator Confirms No Criticality at Fukushima Daiichi

Plant Status Sustained nuclear fission did not occur at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility last week, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said, confirming earlier reports from Tokyo Electric Power Co. Plant employees detected a trace amount of radioactive xenon-135 gas in the reactor 2 containment vessel last week, which led to initial concerns there might have been an ongoing nuclear reaction in the vessel.

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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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