News Round-Up: October 31, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Some Bayous Off-Limits to O&G Operators

Oil and gas operators are working harder to find alternate surface
water sources for their hydraulic fracturing process because of the
ongoing drought that’s left some small streams and bayous void of much

The Fracking Divide: Who Will Prevail in N.Y.?

Polls, some more scientific than others, in many of the areas most likely to see gas drilling tend to show overwhelming opposition of two-thirds or more, particularly to horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial process that injects chemicals and massive amounts of water into shale to free natural gas.

Fracking and the Precautionary Principle

Carl Kettler’s recent letter in the Democrat concerning high pressure hydraulic fracturing of potential methane producing strata he misses a very simple point. Fracking is slang for fracturing. When strata is “fracked,” how does Kettler know that the strata that is broken will be the layers that are targeted for breaking?

Did Brine Well Trigger 6 Mahoning Valley Earthquakes?

The Mahoning Valley has experienced seven minor earthquakes since March — the only quakes ever recorded with epicenters in the Valley.


BP Gulf Oil, Corexit: Killer Bacteria Causing Dolphin Die-Off Can Infect Humans

After research showed what happens to dolphins happens to humans, on Thursday, a leading National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist said at a national media briefing that, based on preliminary research findings, oil and Corexit physically stressed Gulf dolphins to death, resulting in an ongoing dolphin die-off in Louisiana waters and along the Gulf Coast. The lead research scientists’ theory is that oil and Corexit decreased dolphin immunity, increasing susceptibility of brucella, a bacteria causing the disease marine brucellosis that other scientists say can be transmitted to humans, is difficult to treat, and requires blood and samples tested to diagnose and treat.

Move On Louisiana Shrimpers’ Oil Spill claims: An Editorial

Oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg took a verbal pummeling Thursday during a congressional hearing that focused on a lack of proper payments to shrimpers. “So many broken promises,” Rep. Jo Bonner of Alabama chided him.

Judge Orders Louisiana to Produce Oil Spill-Related Documents to BP

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan has ordered the state of Louisiana to turn over discovery documents requested by BP, or face daily fines and the possible dismissal of the state’s claims against the oil company.

This Week in Washington: Mr. Feinberg Comes to Capitol Hill

Last Thursday, the administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) made a trip to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee regarding the performance of the BP oil spill claims process.


Fallout Forensics Hike Radiation Toll

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study1 that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.

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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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