Freelance photographer Lance Rosenfield was working on assignment for ProPublica in Texas, last week, when a BP security guard began following him. Rosenfield was later detained by police after taking photos for two ProPublica stories. One story revealed that BP’s Texas City refinery had illegally emitted 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into the air in April and May. The other reported that the Texas City refinery continues to have serious safety violations five years after an explosion at the plant killed 15 workers.
Police officers asked to see the photographs he had taken but Rosenfield said he didn’t think that he was legally required to do so. One of the officers told him that if he did not show the photographs they could call Homeland Security and take him in and look at the photographs that way.
Rosenfield agreed to show him the photographs and also provided his information including name, driver’s license, date of birth, Social Security Number, and phone number.
Although Rosenfield refused to give his information to the BP security guard, the police officer provided the information to security guard for the private corporation against the protests of Rosenfield.
READ THIS STORY AT PROPUBLICA.ORG
Continue reading ProPublica: Photographer Was Followed by BP Security and Then Detained by Police
Louisiana-based judge Martin Feldman, who yesterday overturned President Obama’s six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico because it assumed that all deepwater drilling was as dangerous as BP’s, was revealed today to have had shares in Transocean and other firms in the industry.
Feldman’s most recent financial disclosure forms show that he was paid dividends from his shares in Transocean. The forms, which relate to the calendar year 2008, also show that he sold shares in Halliburton, which was also involved in the disaster.
Feldman has yet to respond to the disclosures. He is one of many federal judges across the Gulf Coast region with money in oil and gas. Several have disqualified themselves from hearing spill-related claims, while others have sold their holdings so they can preside over many cases being filed.
READ THIS STORY AT GUARDIAN.CO.UK
Continue reading Guardian: Judge who overturned drilling bans had shares in the oil industry
Environmental activists in Mossville, Louisiana tried for decades to convince state and federal governments that they live in a toxic town. They claim the 14 chemical plants surrounding the African-American community are making residents sick.
Government blood tests support their claim showing residents with three times the normal levels of dioxins in their blood. Dioxins are carcinogens, frequently called the most toxic substance known.
Health surveys in the town show many residents dying young from cancer. They also show widespread respiratory problems in addition to other ailments.
Both the Department of Environmental Quality and the local industry association say studies have shown the plants do not cause health problems for local residents.
The EPA agreed in January to test whether Mossville qualifies as a federal Superfund site. The results are expected by early August. In another victory for the town, an international human rights commission agreed to rule on a case brought by Mossville against the U.S. government. It should rule by the end of the year.
READ THIS STORY AT CNN.COM
Continue reading CNN: Toxic town’s advocate sees victory ahead