EJToday: Top Headlines
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Flood victims in some of Nashville's poor neighborhoods are not getting the attention that some country music stars are getting.
"If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land. The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand."
"The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely."
"In a closed-door briefing for members of Congress, a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow."
Dispersants used on the Gulf oil spill may have toxic effects and harm ecosystems -- raising questions about whether the cure is worse than the disease. Companies refuse to disclose some of the ingredients, saying they are trade secrets.
"Scientists say the Gulf oil spill could get into the what's called the Loop Current within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and into the Florida Keys." After that, it could continue into the Gulf Stream.
GOP pundits and politicos -- as well as some Democrats -- are spewing
a mess of sayings that some call "irresponsible" in response to the Gulf oil
spill. Hate-talker Rush Limbaugh accused 'environmentalist wackos' of having
blown up the rig, and former White House spokesperson Dana Perino echoed him.
Neither presented any evidence for the insinuations.
"The EPA is warning that Gulf Coast residents are at risk of headaches, nausea, and other ill health effects; the culprit is air pollution from the oil burns that response teams are conducting to try to keep the big slick away from coastlines."
Although BP has said it will compensate victims, "lawmakers and Gulf Coast residents began questioning whether the company will take full responsibility for the economic losses stemming from the spill. ... A law passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill requires companies to pay for cleanup costs but no more than $75 million for other damage."
"National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officials last fall warned the Department of Interior, which regulates offshore oil drilling, that it was dramatically underestimating the frequency of offshore oil spills and was dangerously understating the risk and impacts a major spill would have on coastal residents."
"Calling the expanding plume of oil rising from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico a crisis of dramatic proportion, President Barack Obama told Louisiana oyster farmers and the country Sunday that the full force of the federal government was focused on assisting southeast Louisiana."
Federal agencies and BP were embarrassed when their lowball estimates of the volume of oil spilling into the Gulf were corrected by a small, independent environmental group analyzing federal satellite data from their West Virginia office. The finding called into question the credibility of federal and company statements.
"Heavy winds continued to whip up high waves on the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, thwarting attempts to contain the growing slick that's washing ashore in southern Louisiana and threatening the Mississippi and Alabama coasts. Rough waves rolled over containment booms, pushing oil-slicked water closer to shore, where wetlands and other fragile ecosystems stand at risk."