"It has been the deadliest natural disaster on American soil since Hurricane Katrina. But the government response to the tornadoes that devastated the South last week has, at least in the first few days, drawn little of the searing criticism aimed at federal agencies back in 2005."
"The U.S. has 31 reactors just like Japan’s — but regulators are ignoring the risks and boosting industry profits."
"One day after deadly tornadoes knocked out power to nuclear reactors in Alabama, the head of the U.S. nuclear safety regulator expressed concern whether backup batteries at sites across the United States have the staying power in a prolonged emergency."
"In an effort to encourage nuclear power, Congress voted in 2005 to authorize $17.5 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors. Now, six years later, with the industry stalled by poor market conditions and the Fukushima disaster, nearly half of the fund remains unclaimed. And yet Congress, at the request of the Obama administration, is preparing to add $36 billion in nuclear loan guarantees to next year’s budget."
"The death toll soared to near 300 Thursday as rescuers dug through rubble from Mississippi to Virginia in the nation’s deadliest natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina."
"Bolstered by soaring crude oil prices, BP reported a 17 percent increase in first quarter profit to $7.1 billion and sought to convince investors that it was coping with the costs of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year."
As ominous as a floating hearse, twin barges creep up the Mississippi River carrying a payload of explosives bound for southeast Missouri and a levee facing the prospect of being sacrificed to spare a flood-threatened Illinois town just upriver."
"The federal agency overseeing offshore drilling in Alaska says the worst-case scenario for a blowout in the Chukchi Sea lease could result in a spill of more than 58 million gallons of oil into Arctic waters."
"The death toll from severe storms that punished five Southern U.S. states jumped to a staggering 178 after Alabama canvassed its hard-hit counties for a new tally of lives lost." Latest updates put the toll at 247.
"Wildfires have burned about 1.5 million acres in Texas since January, egged on by a drought that federal forecasters say is the worst to hit the state in 45 years."