News Types: Media Coverage

Tom McGarity, “Texas Family’s Nuissance Complaint Seen As a Win Against Fracking” (Capital Public Radio)

Capital Public Radio quoted professor Tom McGarity on a May 4 story on what’s been called the first anti-fracking verdict in the U.S. after a Dallas jury awarded nearly $3 million to a family who said they were poisoned by a natural gas drilling operation near their North Texas ranch. The verdict is unique, according to McGarity. “It is rare for any case to go to the jury in a civil case, just simply because most settle,” he says. “[Aruba Petroleum] apparently decided to draw the line, which as it turns out was not necessarily a very good decision.”

David Spence, “Supreme Court’s Air Pollution Ruling Goes Against Texas” (Texas Tribune)

In an April 29 article, the Texas Tribune quoted professor David Spence on the Supreme Court’s air pollution ruling, by 6-2 vote, to reinstate the Cross-State Pollution Rule, a regulation that aims to limit the effects of air pollution across state boundaries. “This is a big decision,” said Spence. “It’s one of the things that is putting pressure on coal-fired power.”

David Spence, “What a Ban on Fracking in Denton Could Mean For the Rest of Texas” (State Impact)

State Impact Texas quoted professor David Spence in an April 8 story on a potential hydraulic fracturing ban in the Dallas suburb of Denton. In it, Spence explained that courts have tended to side with local governments in legal challenges to land use restrictions on fracking but that there is no Texas precedent squarely on point. “This issue may be enough of a hot-button issue that courts are going to really work hard to try to find a way to be able to uphold local ordinances, and at least we’ve seen a little bit of that in the northeast.”



Melinda Taylor, “Ship Operator in Houston Spill on Probation for Pollution” (Washington Post)

Numerous media outlets have quoted Energy Center Executive Director on the Galveston Bay oil spill.

The Washington Post, running a Bloomberg story, quoted her as saying: ““I think we found after the BP oil spill it’s very difficult to predict how that oil is going to behave … A lot of it depends on weather conditions, the type of oil that spilled, the weight of that oil, and the constituents in that oil.”

Thomas McGarity, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Auto Safety Rulemaking (Aftermarket News)

In a November 27 article, Aftermarket News, a trade publication for the automotive industry, quoted Professor Thomas McGarity’s testimony from a recent Congressional hearing about the adequacy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a rulemaking agency:

“According to McGarity, ‘The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has effectively given up on rulemaking unless specifically required by statute, focusing instead on its statutory power to force the recall of motor vehicles that contain ‘defects’ related to safety performance. The move away from rulemaking to adjudication gives the agency the flexibility to allow policies to evolve through the gradual process of stare decisis.’”

Wendy Wagner, “EPA Official Says Senate Bill Needs Deadlines to Spur Completion of Chemical Reviews” (Bloomberg BNA)

A November 13 BNA Bloomberg article quotes Professor Wendy Wagner on legislation Congress is considering to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act:

“Wendy Wagner, a law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said S. 1009 would unduly restrict the types of scientific evidence that the EPA could consider as it determines the safety of chemicals.
“The constraints of the legislation would be inconsistent with recommendations the National Academies has made about the science the EPA should use to underly its decisions on chemicals, she said.
“‘By my count, at least 40 pages of Senate Bill 1009 are dedicated to developing these legislative constraints on the types of evidence EPA may consider and how it must use this evidence,’ she said.
Problems Foreseen
“Those requirements would create opportunities for some manufacturers to claim the agency failed to implement the law correctly, Wagner said.”