News Round-Up: November 15, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Fracking Opponents Present Army Corp of Engineers with Petition to Vote No on Draft Rules

A coalition of grassroots organizations, labor unions and religious groups presented the Army Corp of Engineers with a petition signed by over 70,000 people today, following a press conference, urging the Corp to vote against draft regulations on Nov. 21 that could open the Delaware River watershed up to natural gas operations.

Ohio National Forest Halts Sale of Drilling Rights

The U.S. Forest Service has dropped plans to auction natural gas and oil drilling rights next month on thousands of acres in Ohio’s only national forest because administrators there want to study the possible impacts from the gas extraction method known as fracking, officials said Tuesday.

Many Eagle Ford Shale Jobs, But Few Qualified Workers

There are jobs in abundance in the Eagle Ford shale area, but a group of employers said Monday that it isn’t easy to find qualified workers.

Fracking Could Impact NY & NJ

Anti-fracking advocates on Monday asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a member of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), to vote against regulations to allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Delaware River Basin.


Exclusive: Aboard Weatherbird, A Team of Scientists Studies Oil Spill’s Effects

A lot of research has been done on the immediate effects of the spill, data from this cruise will be used to examine the long-term effects.

Gulf Toxicology Report Accuses BP and Coast Guard of Killing Birds and Threatening News Helicopter

A cleanup worker involved in last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico claims the company and the U.S. Coast Guard worked in secrecy while attempting to burn the petroleum off the ocean’s surface. Malcolm Coco, who worked for BP for three and a half months, was given the task of setting fire to oil slicks. He also spent time with agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service looking for oil-covered birds.  He relayed his observations to a Louisiana-based environmental toxicology firm, also accusing those overseeing the cleanup operation of threatening to shoot down a news helicopter and euthanizing most of the birds that became covered in oil, instead of trying to save them.

BP Can’t Use Transocean Insurance for Gulf Spill

A federal judge denied BP Plc’s bid to use insurance coverage from Transocean Ltd to cover costs stemming from last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Safety, Conservation Must Be Top Concerns for Offshore Drilling

Last week the Department of the Interior released its proposed program for offshore oil and gas leasing from 2012 to 2017. The proposed program calls for potential lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico as well as in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas north and west of Alaska. This is an important time to examine the lessons we are still learning from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The nation must make a genuine commitment to spill prevention and response preparedness, which was not the case when the BP oil blowout occurred.


New Study Maps Spread of Fukushima Fallout

It is likely that radioactive cesium from the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant spread across much of northern and eastern Japan and could damage agriculture in several provinces, according to estimates released Monday.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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