Eco-news in brief 3-6

By CG News Editor Kelly Doran

Shell files lawsuit against environmental groups in Alaska

Shell filed a federal suit in Alaska last week against twelve environmental groups in an attempt to prevent predicated legal challenges to begin exploring the Arctic Ocean this summer. Marvin E. Odum, Shell’s U.S. President, said he is certain that Shell’s plan for avoiding and reacting to an oil spill will do fine under legal scrutiny. Shell wants to avoid any delays because there are only three months in Alaska to drill ice-free. The environmental groups opposing the project say that the effects on the communities and the environment will likely be substantial. Shell’s suit is a complaint for declaratory relief, which basically requests the judge to pronounce a lawsuit without merit prior to it being filed.

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Last week’s severe weather causes severe injuries, fatalities

Twenty-eight people died in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio due to last Friday’s tornados. Indiana was hit especially hard, claiming at least 15 of the fatalities. Kentucky had at least 12 fatalities. In Bethel, Ohio, a man was found dead in his mobile home. There has also been severe weather in Tennessee and Alabama, causing critical injuries in Tennessee. The tornados began last Tuesday, hitting Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee, leaving 13 fatalities.

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Saving tortoises becomes difficult for solar farm

BrightSource Energy solar farm has to bring their construction to a stop for three months because biologists found more tortoises than expected. BrightSource has spent $56 million thus far to keep the tortoises safe and to relocate them but have still been met with problems. Before choosing the site, BrightSource knew about the tortoises but, since the site was ideal for generating solar power, requested to move the tortoises and agreed to monitor them for five years after. They also agreed to put in 50 miles of fences to prevent the tortoises from getting back into harm’s way. Thus far, 166 adult and juvenile tortoises have been moved into a nine-acre facility that will hold them until they can be released on the other side of the fence.

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