News Round-Up: September 5, 2012


Today’s Essential Reads


Natural Gas Driller and Insurer Dispute Coverage for Fracking Claim

One of the first lawsuits implicating insurance coverage for a fracking-related claim is under way in Ohio. Warren Drilling Co., Inc. v. ACE American Ins. Co., No. 2:12-cv-425 (S.D. Ohio 2012) will be the first case to determine how insurance coverage applies to the controversial drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). While future cases will certainly present different facts and unique arguments, the outcome of the case will set the stage for how courts are going to approach insurance coverage for fracking-related liability.

Lessons From the Field: Talking About Climate and Fracking

Most of this post is an excerpt from a blog post titled “LESSONS FROM THE FIELD: TALKING ABOUT FRACKING AND CLIMATE” on the Climate Access website. The excerpt describes some of the Museum of the Earth’s work related to Marcellus Shale education and how we are using the public interest in the Marcellus as a teachable moment to engage the public in learning about energy and climate.

Cornell Students Rally at ‘Don’t Frack New York’

The southern tier of New York faces an imminent challenge: the legalization of hydraulic fracking in five of its counties. The area, which borders Pennsylvania and includes the counties west of the Catskills, sits on top of the Marcellus shale, a deposit of untapped natural gas that can be processed and turned into fuel. Currently no high-volume, thick water horizontal hydraulic facking is allowed in New York State, but all that can change if Gov. Andrew Cuomo accepts new regulations from the Department of Environmental Conservation, and allows drilling in the southern tier.

Residents Fear Fracking on Former Idora Land

Concerns over drilling for natural gas under Mill Creek Park brought about 15 neighbors to a park board meeting, but commissioners headed them off at the door.


Geologists say Tarballs Still Washing up on Walton Beaches

While many businesses are bouncing back from the BP oil spill, what’s washing up on area beaches two years later may still represent the long term effects of the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

“Organic” Masses Wash Up Near Fort Morgan

Black mats on the beach at Fort Morgan following Hurricane Isaac had some beach goers worried.

U.S. Lays Out Examples of “Gross Negligence” by BP

The U.S. Justice Department is ramping up its rhetoric against BP PLC for the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, describing in new court papers examples of what it calls “gross negligence and willful misconduct.”

Feds Slam BP in Key Court Filing, Admit Pollution From 2010 Spill Continues to Ravage Gulf

The federal government’s 37-page objection to BP’s legal claims blast the oil giant’s “culture of corporate recklessness” that led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and argue that BP wants the court to overlook deceased dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay and dying deep-sea corrals that are sickening fish in Gulf of Mexico.


2 Minor Injuries in French Nuclear Plant Incident

Nuclear safety authorities said there was no threat of radioactive leaks and that the incident at the Fessenheim plant near the German border was minor. It touched a nerve, however, because anti-nuclear activists have long urged the closure of the plant, which was built in the 1970s and is located in a seismic zone. Those calls have mounted since the earthquake and tsunami disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant last year.

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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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