EJToday: Top Headlines
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Oil spill National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen has put out a written directive that news media have "uninhibited access" to spill response operations unless security or safety problems prevent it. It is not clear whether his order will have any impact on BP.
"During President Obama's visit to the Louisiana coast, he got an earful from local officials about his six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Many people -- from work boat captains to offshore caterers -- say shutting down the industry for that long could be a bigger economic blow to the region than the oil spill itself."
Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told reporters yesterday that funding cuts in recent years for instrumental ocean observation programs have left scientists trying to track the movement of spilled oil partly in the dark.
"BP reported some oil was flowing up a pipe Friday from a cap it wrestled onto its broken Gulf of Mexico well but crude still spewed and it was unclear how much could be captured in the latest bid to tame the nation's worst oil spill."
"The Interior Department denied Thursday that it has extended a drilling freeze to shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, contradicting an e-mail written earlier in the day by the Minerals Management Service's supervisor of field operations for the Gulf of Mexico."
"At virtually every turn lately, the White House cannot shake the appearance that it is hamstrung and a step behind. From a major crisis such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to smaller and seemingly avoidable controversies over internal Democratic Party politics, President Obama and his team are on the defensive."
A computer simulation by the National Center for Atmospheric Research illustrates a scenario -- which some consider likely -- in which oil from the BP Gulf spill could spread as far north as Cape Hatteras by July.
"If you happen to be wondering if it's any easier to get access to an oil-befouled public beach/wildlife refuge near Grand Isle, Louisiana, if you're teamed up with a fancypants PBS producer, I scouted out the answer today: No."
"Facing multiple investigations, including one from the U.S. attorney general, companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have secured legal teams with deep Department of Justice and White House ties."
BP's efforts to cut off the riser pipe and install a collection cap over its blown out deepwater oil well hit complications Wednesday -- a stuck saw. But the effort continues. Meanwhile, the area of coastline affected expanded beyond Louisiana to Alabama and Mississippi and soon possibly Florida.
"The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had begun civil and criminal investigations into the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as the deepening crisis threatened to define President Obama’s second year in office."
"BP shareholders are fleeing the company’s stock amid growing uncertainty about the ultimate bill for cleanup costs, lawsuits, fines and damage to the oil giant’s reputation."