News Round-Up: September 20, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


Our Toxic World

Steingraber gives both a personal account of a family attempting to live a healthy life in upstate New York and a scientist’s look at the issues that make that so very challenging. The combination is powerful: The litany of facts about hydraulic fracturing, neurotoxins, and ecosystem services would leave readers grasping for hope. But the stories, such as why she uses a blade mower to mow her lawn, provide just that measure of hope.

Records show Chevron buys Marcellus acres in W.Va.

Ohio County records show that Chevron Corp. has acquired about 4,400 acres in the Marcellus shale field in the Northern Panhandle county.

NJ Gov Chris Christie’s One-Year Moratorium on Fracking is Too Short

Hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking” — is a topic of concern for many New Jersey residents, especially in light of Gov. Chris Christie’s recent conditional veto on a fracking ban in New Jersey and his proposed one-year moratorium. This moratorium is too short, and does not allow adequate time to study the environmental impact that fracking could have on New Jersey’s water supply.

Scientists Tell New York Governor Municipal Water Systems Can’t Handle Fracking

Nearly 60 scientists from 18 states and 7 foreign nations have weighed in on the ongoing fight over fracking in New York state. In letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo last week, the scientists said there is inadequate protection in place for the state water supply should fracking take place, reports.


AP: BP Oil Not Degrading on Gulf Floor, Study Says

Tar balls washed onto Gulf of Mexico beaches by Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month show that oil left over from last year’s BP spill isn’t breaking down as quickly as some scientists thought it would, university researchers said Tuesday.

EPA Grants Air Permit to Shell for Arctic Drilling

Shell Oil Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum reserves off Alaska’s Arctic coasts when the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit for one of the company’s drilling vessels.

Efforts Continue to Curtail Oil Leaks From Abandoned Well in Louisianna

The U.S. Coast Guard officers are continuing their efforts to curtail oil leaks from an abandoned oil well in a coastal basin in southeastern Louisianna since the leaks were reported on Sept.11.

Congress: Enough Excuses – Time to Pass Oil Spill Response Reforms

A government investigation has found that last spring’s Deepwater Horizon explosion, which resulted in eleven worker deaths and led to our nation’s worst-ever oil spill, was the result of numerous failures and poor decision-making by BP and its contractors.

BP Project in Idku Raises Environmental Concerns

Plans to build a British Petroleum (BP) onshore gas processing plant in Idku, a town east of Alexandria and a hub for oil and gas companies, has raised concerns among local residents about its potential environmental impact.

Family Firm Still Struggling, 18 Months After Gulf Oil Spill

Earlier this month, a flatbed truck lumbered slowly out of the gravel parking lot at R&D Enterprises in Harvey, bearing a huge red-and-yellow storage tank bound for an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

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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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