Weekend Environmental Must-Reads – October 20-21, 2012


TransCanada reaffirms plan to restart Keystone pipeline from Canada to Midwest on Saturday

TransCanada has reaffirmed its plan to restart the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to the Midwest on Saturday, although rainy weather is hampering the company’s on-site work.

Keystone XL pipeline brings out the protest in locals

Eleanor Fairchild, 78, a great-grandmother and retired homemaker, became an alleged “eco-terrorist” in the early hours of Oct. 4, crawling through brush on her farm about 100 miles east of Dallas in jeans and a button-down shirt to stop work on the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Texas landowners take a stand against pipeline

Oil has long lived in harmony with farmland and cattle across the Texas landscape, a symbiosis nurtured by generations and built on an unspoken honor code that allowed agriculture to thrive while oil was extracted.

More than 90 families sign onto planned pipeline spill lawsuit

Three months after a fuel distribution pipeline ruptured and spilled gasoline in a farm pasture in the Town of Jackson, more than 90 families in the town have retained two well-known national personal injury law firms to represent them in a lawsuit against the pipeline owner and operator.

UPDATE 2-Exxon fixing crude line after oil sheen in Louisiana

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company said on Friday it had shut down a 12-inch pipeline carrying crude after finding an oil sheen in the water near Barataria Bay, Louisiana.

Hundreds evacuated after Mexico pipeline fire

Roughly 400 people were evacuated early Friday from their homes in the western Mexican state of Jalisco after a gas leak at a pipeline operated by state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos triggered a fire, authorities told Efe.

Natural Gas Pipeline Under Lake Needs Legislative Approval

The Vermont Legislature may soon debate whether a proposed natural gas pipeline can run under Lake Champlain.

Mystery in Gulf of Mexico: Why is oil leaking from Deepwater disaster site?

Oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of about 100 gallons per day near the Macondo wellhead, the site of the oil spill over two years ago that became the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Environmental groups oppose BP settlement

Environmental groups are crying foul after recent reports that BP has offered to settle environmental damage fines related to the 2010 Gulf oil spill for $16 billion to $18 billion.

Martens: Fracking health experts coming ‘soon’

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Outside health experts are not yet under contract to help assess the state’s review of shale-gas drilling, but an agreement is expected “soon,” according to New York’s top environmental regulator.

Key Deadline Looms as Progress of Fracking Review Is Murky

The state’s environmental commissioner for the first time commented in depth about a new health review that has once again delayed a decision on hydro fracking in New York.

Shale Revolution Hurting Schlumberger As Fracking Leads To Oversupply

The boom of hydraulic fracking in the U.S. is actually hurting some oil and gas field services companies.  On Friday, both Schlumberger and Baker Hughes delivered weaker than expected third quarter earnings, and management teams in both companies blamed oversupplied inland markets for their disappointing performance.  Interestingly, while shale plays are affecting their profitability, the ill-reputed deepwater market of the Gulf of Mexico is booming, partially offsetting the loss of pricing power.

Professor offers salt solution to fracturing problem

The enormous amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing draws  criticism from environmentalists and raises  costs for the industry, but at least one academic sees  a simple solution.

Frack Free Colorado—Choose Your Future Oct. 23

A rapidly growing list of business and environmental leaders, non-profits and entertainers are joining forces to fight against hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in Colorado. On Oct. 23, at Civic Park on Capitol Hill in Denver, a coalition called Frack Free Colorado will draw attention to the dangers of fracking and call for a concrete plan to move the state of Colorado away from natural gas and other dirty extractive industries and toward a renewable energy economy.

After the Boom in Natural Gas

THE crew of workers fought off the blistering Louisiana sun, jerking their wrenches to tighten the fat hoses that would connect their cement trucks to the Chesapeake Energy drill rig — one of the last two rigs the company is still using to drill for natural gas here in the Haynesville Shale.

At its peak, Chesapeake ran 38 rigs in the region. All told, it has sunk more than 1,200 wells into the Haynesville, a gas-rich vein of dense rock that straddles Louisiana and Texas. Fed by a gold-rush mentality and easy money from Wall Street, Chesapeake and its competitors have done the same in other shale fields from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania.

Pipeline debate dies down in Nebraska

The decision to detour the Keystone XL around land owned by its noisiest opponents, plus the distraction of the fall election, has lowered the volume of protests against the proposed pipeline.

Exxon fixing crude line after oil sheen in Louisiana

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company said on Friday it had shut down a 12-inch pipeline carrying crude after finding an oil sheen in the water near Barataria Bay, Louisiana.

Report: Design Failure Caused Gas Pipeline Explosion, Fire

State investigators say design failures of a natural gas pipeline caused a massive explosion on Saint Patrick’s Day last year in southwest Minneapolis.

Parish to receive $2.1 million in pipeline settlement

Washington Parish will receive $2,106,502 as its part of a $68.8 million settlement of a long-running dispute between three natural gas pipeline companies and 52 Louisiana parish tax assessors.

Permit given for fracking near nuclear plant

Chesapeake Energy has a permit to frack just one mile from the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport. Whether that is cause for alarm, experts can’t say.

Methane found in drinking across U.S. brings concern to the Lubbock community

Hydraulic fracturing contaminating the drinking water is a concern to the Lubbock community.

Reports: Marcellus reserves larger than expected

There’s been plenty of debate over the Marcellus Shale natural gas field, but new research adds a twist that could impact political and environmental battles. Two independent financial firms say the Marcellus isn’t just the biggest natural gas field in the country — it’s the cheapest place for energy companies to drill.

5 Weird and Frightening Effects of Fracking You May Not Know About

What comes to mind when you think of fracking? Perhaps it’s images of tap water being lit on fire or stories of families suffering health problems after nearby wells are fracked. Indeed, the health and environmental impacts of fracking are being documented, but it’s important to know that fracking is a catalyst for widespread negative consequences. This list includes five effects of fracking you may not have heard about.

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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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