Correspondent, Mexico
Mica's Feed
May 22, 2014

North Carolina Senate outlaws disclosure of fracking fluid secrets

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – The North Carolina Senate on Thursday voted to make it a crime to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, even as big U.S. oil companies elsewhere consider releasing more information about the fluids to address public concerns about the environment.

The legislation, proposed by three Republican state senators and passed by a vote of 35-12, aims to protect trade secrets about fluids used to extract oil or gas from wells using fracking, which blasts sand, water and chemicals deep beneath the earth’s surface.

May 16, 2014

U.S. insurer class action may signal wave of climate-change suits

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – A major insurance company is accusing dozens of
localities in Illinois of failing to prepare for severe rains
and flooding in lawsuits that are the first in what could be a
wave of litigation over who should be liable for the possible
costs of climate change.

Farmers Insurance filed nine class actions last month
against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area. It is
arguing that local governments should have known rising global
temperatures would lead to heavier rains and did not do enough
to fortify their sewers and stormwater drains.

May 13, 2014

Environmentalists sue to list bumble bee as endangered

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – A bumble bee once common in the United States is disappearing so quickly it should be listed as an endangered species, environmentalists said in a lawsuit filed against U.S. government agencies on Tuesday.

The rusty patched bumble bee is now found in fewer and fewer areas as urbanization and agriculture reshape their traditional habitat on the Midwestern prairies, said the suit, which was filed in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., against the Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

May 13, 2014

U.S. environmentalists sue to list bumble bee as endangered

May 13 (Reuters) – A bumble bee once common in the United
States is disappearing so quickly it should be listed as an
endangered species, environmentalists said in a lawsuit filed
against U.S. government agencies on Tuesday.

The rusty patched bumble bee is now found in fewer and fewer
areas as urbanization and agriculture reshape their traditional
habitat on the Midwestern prairies, said the suit, which was
filed in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., against the
Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Apr 26, 2014

Chevron wins a round in U.S. suit against lawyer in Ecuador case

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid by a U.S. lawyer to stall the enforcement of a ruling that found he used fraud to secure a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador.

Lawyer Steven Donziger is appealing a 500-page decision issued by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in March that barred him from collecting on a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron in the United States.

Mar 14, 2014

U.S. weighs crackdown on environmental damage from pot growers

By Mica Rosenberg and David Ingram

(Reuters) – Even as states legalize marijuana, some U.S. officials are demanding tougher sentences for illegal pot growers if they also invade public lands, kill native vegetation and wildlife, and spread toxic pesticides.

The officials’ environmental concerns took center stage at a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a government body that guides federal judges on penalties for convicted criminals.

Mar 7, 2014

Chevron’s U.S. win in Ecuador case looms over cases elsewhere

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ecuadorean villagers who are trying to get billions of dollars from Chevron Corp for pollution in the Amazon jungle are ready to refocus their fight on pending suits in other countries after a setback in the United States.

A scathing judgment issued by a U.S. judge this week against their lawyer will cast a long shadow over cases filed in Canada, Brazil and Argentina, where the plaintiffs are seeking Chevron assets as payment because the oil giant no longer has a presence in Ecuador.

Mar 7, 2014

Insight – Troubled past haunts Mexico oil company at centre of Citi scandal

NEW YORK/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The company at the centre of an alleged fraud that forced Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) to cut its 2013 profit won billions of dollars in contracts from Mexico’s state oil monopoly over the past decade, even after Mexican officials and private lawsuits raised red flags about the contractor’s activities.

From 2003 to last year, Oceanografia SA OCNGR.UL, a provider of engineering and maintenance services on offshore oil platforms and pipelines, signed more than 100 contracts worth nearly $3 billion (1 billion pounds) with state-owned Pemex PEMX.UL, according to a Reuters review of Mexican government contracts.

Mar 7, 2014

Troubled past haunts Mexico oil company at center of Citi scandal

NEW YORK/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The company at the center of an alleged fraud that forced Citigroup Inc to cut its 2013 profit won billions of dollars in contracts from Mexico’s state oil monopoly over the past decade, even after Mexican officials and private lawsuits raised red flags about the contractor’s activities.

From 2003 to last year, Oceanografia SA, a provider of engineering and maintenance services on offshore oil platforms and pipelines, signed more than 100 contracts worth nearly $3 billion with state-owned Pemex, according to a Reuters review of Mexican government contracts.

Feb 12, 2014

North Carolina asks to halt settlement after Duke coal ash spill

Feb 11 (Reuters) – North Carolina has asked a state judge to
put a controversial settlement deal with U.S. power company Duke
Energy over pollution on hold after a massive coal ash spill
into a local river raised fresh concerns about water safety.

Last week Duke said a pipe broke at one of its retired coal
plants, spilling 50,000 to 82,000 tons of ash, enough to fill 20
to 32 Olympic-size swimming pools, into North Carolina’s Dan
River.

    • About Mica

      "I cover commodities and general news in Mexico and Central America and as part of the team in Latin America reported on the outbreak of swine flu, a coup in Honduras and the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Before Mexico, I was based in Guatemala for two years."
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