The video of Steve Lipsky setting his drinking water on fire nearly went viral on You Tube. The fracking company he thinks caused the problem is suing him for defamation. Now that case is headed for the Texas Supreme Court. Oral arguments are scheduled for December 4.
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Here are some recent explainers of interest to environmental journalists from the CRS, which Congress does not allow to be released to the taxpaying public who paid for them. The WatchDog thanks those who leaked them and the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy for publishing them.Topics on the Beat:
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From 1970 until 2010, 34.8 million more people decided to move towards the coast of the United States and that population is expected to grow just as sea-level rise and climate change continue to increase the risk of living there. Amy Wold, a reporter with The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, covers change and adaptation; locks and floodgates; levees and marshes; communities at risk; insurance issues; and lessons learned. Photo (click to enlarge): In 2012, Wold took this shot of the rapidly disappearing Cat Island in Barataria Basin in south Louisiana. She returned there in 2014 to find barely any land left above water. © Amy Wold, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.SEJ Publication Types:
Amy Wold, a reporter with The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, writes about coastal challenges facing the state, including coastal loss, restoration, economics, diversion, the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP settlements and the RESTORE Act, fisheries impacts — and why protecting and stabilizing Louisiana’s coastline is not just a local issue, but a national one. Image: Heavy machinery moves around sediment that has been piped in from the Mississippi River at a coastal restoration project in Plaquemines Parish in November 2013. © Amy Wold, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate.SEJ Publication Types:
The agency is exploring some of its legal options for improving transparency about fracking fluid. One sign that EPA might be thinking of using its existing Clean Water Act legal authority came when the publication DeSmogBlog published on May 28 a leaked EPA draft suggesting it was considering doing precisely that.
It may be good PR. Baker Hughes has not only been a leader in oilfield technology, but has also been a leader in the inexact science of producing benign media coverage. The company says it will disclose the identities of all the chemicals it uses, but not the exact amounts or proportions. This move might also be a shrewd way of getting a jump on the inevitable, ahead of possible EPA mandatory disclosure requirements.
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"Inside Story" editor Beth Daley interviews Charleston (WV) Gazette reporter Ken Ward Jr. — who is recognized nationally for his reporting on coal mining, the environment and workplace safety — about his unique work on the Freedom Industries spill story. Photo: The FI tank which leaked a coal-cleaning chemical into the river on Jan. 9, 2014, contaminating the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians for weeks. Credit: Commercial Photography Services of WV via USCSB.SEJ Publication Types:Region: