News Round-Up: October 5, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


State Needs to Focus More on Health Effects of Fracking, MDs Say

More than 250 physicians and medical professionals have signed a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting the state devote more study to the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing before issuing permits for the controversial natural gas drilling technique.

Rocky View Landowners Unite Against Fracking

A group of northwest Rocky View residents have banded together to raise awareness about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Lochend area.

Pennsylvania: Risks to Drinking Water That Could Be Averted Ahead of Time

I recently read a letter to the editor of a Pennsylvania newspaper which provided a blaring alarm regarding a high risk situation in Pennsylvania. A lot of space on this blog is devoted to reporting on environmental damage after it occurs — drinking water contamination, toxic air pollution, spills and leaks, etc. When there is an opportunity to prevent harm, we’d hope that state regulators would jump on the chance, but sadly that does not seem to be the case in this situation.

Times’ Urbina Speaks About Covering Fracking

Ian Urbina, an investigative reporter for  The New York Times, spoke Tuesday about reporting on hydraulic fracturing and answered questions about the difficulty of tackling the controversial issue.


BP is Back in Business in the Gulf of Mexico

Soon after a joint government investigation laid much of the blame for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history on BP, the British oil giant began pushing ahead with plans to begin drilling anew in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf Coast Members Introduce Bill to Send 80 Percent of BP Spill Funds to the Gulf Coast

A coalition of Gulf Coast House members said Wednesday that they have agreed to introduce legislation that would direct 80 percent of environmental fines from last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the states for coastal restoration.


Five coastal states are determined to clean up the damaged Gulf of Mexico ecosystem after last year’s oil spill highlighted how decades of contamination and deterioration had placed a backbone of the U.S. economy at risk of ruin, according to a federal report released Wednesday

Draft Report on Gulf After Oil Spill Highlights Restoration Needs, Demands Funds

A task force appointed by President Barack Obama says coastal states must work together to restore elements of the Gulf of Mexico that have made it a backbone of the U.S. economy before the ecosystem becomes so degraded and polluted it is no longer habitable for animals or people.


Cellphone Usage Limits Urged by Health Canada

Parents should encourage kids under 18 to limit the time they spend talking on cellphones, Health Canada said Tuesday in new advice on mobile phone usage.

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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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