News Round-Up: October 3, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


What the Frack is Going on Here?

Hydraulic fracturing sends “huge volumes of toxic fluids” deep underground at high pressure, to fracture shale rock and release natural gas, Food & Water Watch claims. “Billions of gallons of toxic fluids” will “contaminate” groundwater and drinking water “for generations.” We need to “Ban Fracking Now.”

Regulators Must Deal with Dangers of ‘Fracking’

Two companies – the Australian-based Tamboran Resources and Lough Allen Natural Gas Company (Langco) – currently hold exploration licensing options for onshore gas in the Lough Allen basin area. The acreage concerned covers an area including parts of seven counties. Similar licences have been granted covering areas of Co Fermanagh in the North. Tamboran has been promoting the potential benefits of commercial gas production and recently held a series of public meetings in the northwest. It has stated that hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) may start on a “test” basis as early as 2013 in the Republic.

Scientist Seeking Fracking Answers

Though many Colorado politicians, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, say hydraulic fracturing isn’t likely harmful to the state’s water supplies, there are few scientific data available that say much at all about how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could be affecting water quality.

Massive Fire and Explosions at Texas Plant

Explosions and plumes of black smoke pour from the Magnablend chemical plant in Waxahachie, Texas — a town just south of Dallas.


Fish Still Suffering After BP Oil Spill

Signs of last year’s BP oil spill have nearly vanished from the marshes along Louisiana’s Gulf coast, but the fish there are still turning up with life-threatening deformities and reproductive problems.

House Deadlocked Over Distributing Oil Spill Fines

Some 17 months after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf Coast lawmakers in the U.S. House remain unable to agree on a bill to send spill fines to the affected areas.

Gulf Killifish Shows Adverse Effects Due to BP Oil Spill Disaster

A report published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” says that animal species such as the Gulf Killifish (Fundulus grandis), in and around the Gulf of Mexico will continue to be subject to negative effects of the BP Oil Spill disaster of 2010.

Lawsuit Challenges Arctic Drilling Permit as Shameful

Royal Dutch Shell Oil may have gotten the Obama administration to approve the most aggressive Arctic drilling proposal in US history, but not without a challenge.


Pump is Fixed at Nuclear Plant

A week after one of two recirculation pumps failed at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt., the problem has been fixed and the plant is operating at nearly 100 percent, a spokesman said.


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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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