EJToday: Top Headlines
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"A House energy panel investigation has found that the blowout preventer that failed to stop a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had a dead battery in its control pod, leaks in its hydraulic system, a "useless" test version of a key component and a cutting tool that wasn't strong enough to shear through steel joints in the well pipe and stop the flow of oil."
"Federal investigators are likely to file criminal charges against at least one of the companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico spill, raising the prospects of significantly higher penalties than a current $75 million cap on civil liability, legal experts say."
"President Obama put his weight today behind legislative efforts to lift liability caps for oil spills."
"The Gulf of Mexico oil spill could grow even more disastrous if the looming hurricane season churns up towering black waves and blasts beaches and crowded cities with oil-soaked gusts, experts warned."
"Powerful puffs of natural gas, called kicks, are a normal occurrence in many deep-ocean drilling operations. But one intense kick of natural gas caused the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to be shut down because of the fear of an explosion just weeks before a similar release succeeded in destroying and sinking the platform and sent millions of gallons of oil on a collision course with Louisiana and the rest of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico."
"As the companies involved in the construction, leasing and operation of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig try to pin blame on one another for the explosion and subsequent spill, the litigation resulting from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico also keeps getting messier."
"The oil industry, not the federal agency that regulates it, plays a crucial role in writing the safety and environmental rules for offshore drilling, a role that critics say reflects cozy ties between an industry and its regulators that need to be snapped."
"When the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, neither the oil companies nor their watchdogs in the Interior Department were ready."
"The sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which triggered the spill spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, caught the energy world by surprise. The operator, Transocean Ltd., is a giant in the brave new world of drilling for oil in deep waters far offshore. It had been honored by regulators for its safety record. The very day of the blast on the rig, executives were aboard celebrating its seven straight years free of serious accidents."
"Icelike crystals encrusting a 100-ton steel-and-concrete box meant to contain oil gushing from a broken well deep in the Gulf of Mexico forced crews Saturday to back off the long-shot plan, while more than 100 miles away, blobs of tar washed up at an Alabama beach full of swimmers."
Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, the Obama administration's Minerals Management Service approved 26 new offshore drilling projects in the Gulf with the same environmental exempitons, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
"Orange-colored oil from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has washed up on the western side of North Island, the northernmost sliver of the Chandeleur and Breton Island chain, and officials with BP and federal and state agency say they have drafted a strategy to begin cleaning it up."
"Petrochemical giant BP didn't file a plan to specifically handle a major oil spill from an uncontrolled blowout at its Deepwater Horizon project because the federal agency that regulates offshore rigs changed its rules two years ago to exempt certain projects in the central Gulf region, according to an Associated Press review of official records."