News Round-Up: November 16, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Louis Meeks knows what to expect when he turns on any of the faucets inside the home he bought 36 years ago. “Still stink?” he asks, after offering up a glass jar filled seconds earlier from the tap. The cloudy water in the clear jar does stink. It has the distinct odor of gasoline.

Fracking Risks Outweigh Benefits

For several years, many New York state residents have been fighting to prevent gas drilling by horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

NY Communities Challenge Gas Drilling

The controversial practice of Hydraulic Fracturing has opened a Pandora’s Box of legal questions and challenges – the first lawsuit in upstate New York challenging the right of local governments to ban gas drilling (and ultimately, hydrofracking) had its first hearing this week in state court – Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Occupy WELL Street releases the Anti-Fracking Pledge of Resistance

In the hills surrounding the Susquehanna River and its tributaries, rural Pennsylvanians have created a new campaign, called Occupy WELL Street, as a way to confront and speak out against the oil and gas corporations laying siege to our communities in their relentless pursuit of natural gas. Participants of Occupy Well Street have been working side by side with several Earth First! groups in the region to create this, our Pledge of Resistance to hydraulic fracturing and the promises of gas royalties at the cost of ruined land, toxic water, polluted air, and divided communities.


NYT: BP to Get $250 Million in Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Settlement

The British oil company BP said Friday that Cameron International, one of its contractors in the oil well that burst last year in the Gulf of Mexico, had agreed to pay $250 million to settle claims related to the ensuing spill.

BP Employee’s Critical Email Over Plant Maintenance Debated At Oil Spill Trial

Two months after one of the biggest oil spills ever on the North Slope, a BP operator sent an email to managers with a long list of mechanical, management and staffing issues at the production center for the Lisburne oil field, home to the pipeline that ruptured.

Gulf Coast Isn’t Clean, NWF Says

Don’t think that because BP is moving from cleanup to restoration with a $1 billion pledge that the southern U.S. coast is clean, wildlife officials said.

Panel Warns of Ongoing Hazards Posed By Offshore Drilling

A new report issued by The National Academy of Engineering, a government-created nonprofit, concludes that the lack of regulation and ineffective safety management practices that led to BP’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have not been fully remedied — leaving communities in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana potentially vulnerable to another oil spill.

Cameron to Pay BP $250 Million in Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

Cameron International Corp. (CAM), the maker of the blowout preventer on BP Plc’s Macondo well that caused the worst offshore U.S. oil spill, will pay $250 million to settle all claims in the accident.


Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda Declares State of Cold Shutdown at Fukushima Daiichi

Japan declared its tsunami-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant to be in cold shutdown on Friday, taking a major step to resolving the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years but some critics questioned whether the plant was really under control.

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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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