Friday, October 12, 2012

Lawsuits Highlight the High Environmental Cost of Fossil Fuel Energy

By: Duane Craig

Property owners in Arkansas’ Independence and Faulkner counties are up in arms over hydraulic fracturing activities they say are pumping drilling waste beneath their properties.

The property owners have filed a lawsuit against Southwestern Energy Company, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and XTO Energy Inc. The plaintiffs claim the drilling companies reduce royalties paid to landowners by the amount it costs them to dispose of drilling fluids. In this case, the plaintiffs say the companies are pumping the waste below ground and that waste is migrating below neighboring properties. The plaintiffs claim this is unjustly enriching the frackers by allowing them to make money for disposing of the waste on others’ land. You can read the whole article here.

Not far from there, in Plaquemines Parish, La., some residents have sued a local chemical handling company in the wake of leaks from two of its storage tanks. The company originally reported that about 39,000 gallons of chemicals had leaked from the two tanks but that same day it had also reported to other authorities that up to 191,000 gallons of chemicals may have spilled. The event caused local officials to evacuate homes near the facility and the area was closed off during cleanup operations. See the entire story right here.

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