News Round-Up: September 30, 2011


Today’s Essential Reads


EPA Holds Hearing in Texas on Natural Gas Drilling

Environmentalists and advocates for drilling companies faced off Thursday at a public hearing in Arlington on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules aimed at limiting pollution at oil and gas wells.

Fracking Plans May Pose Threat to Bath’s Ancient Springs

The world-famous hot springs of the city of Bath may be threatened by fracking, the controversial technique for exploiting underground supplies of shale gas, the Government was told yesterday.

Heavy Water Use Worries Fracking Opponents

As a community organizer for more than 20 years and now the executive director of the Texas Drought Project, Alyssa Burgin has zeroed in on the oil and gas industry’s heavy reliance on water for its use of hydraulic fracturing, best known as fracking.

Groups Say True Costs Of Fracking Hidden

In response to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) release of regulations for industrial gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale by means of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” if such drilling is permitted, several environmental groups criticized Governor Cuomo and the DEC for not looking at the true costs of industrial gas drilling, particularly costs related to infrastructure, public health, and the environment that will be borne by communities.


Driver in BP Explosion Sues, Says Station Had Antiquated System

The truck driver who received third-degree burns during the BP explosion in August is suing Coomes Oil & Supply Inc. alleging that the company did not have state and federally mandated equipment in place that could have prevented the explosion.

Fish Exposed to Gulf Oil Spill Show Abnormalities

Gulf of Mexico fish exposed to the BP oil spill last summer are exhibiting signs of cell abnormalities. The aberrations were found in minnow-like killifish and could lead to reproductive problems, The Washington Post reported.

Federal Oil Spill Probe Finds U.S. Regulations Lacking

An ongoing federal investigation into last year’s massive rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has found that a particularly lax U.S. regulatory regime was a significant factor in the events leading up to the disaster.

Troubling Signs in the Water

Part of the news is troubling: Despite those low levels, there has been gene and tissue damage in Louisiana’s fish. That seems to point to lingering fallout from the spill, fallout that could be much more difficult to isolate and combat.


Plutonium ‘Detected Outside Fukushima Plant’

A limited amount of plutonium has been detected in soil outside Japan’s troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant which was crippled by the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, the government said Friday.

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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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