EJToday: Top Headlines
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Despite a huge and detailed hearing and investigative record of BP corner-cutting on well-control and safety operations leading up to the Gulf blowout, explosion, and spill, BP's Tony Hayward is poised to tell a Congressional committee today that he has no idea why it happened. The interrogation may be harsh.
Petrochemical companies like BP won a key battle in achieving unpoliced self-regulation early in the Bush administration -- when they got friends in Congress and the White House to shut EPA out of chemical safety and security oversight. As public health advocates point to possible disasters more lethal than the Gulf spill, there may be an opportunity to reverse the federal government's decisions not to protect the public from petrochemical disasters.
"As arguments rage over how to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, an examination of toxicity tests reveals flaws in the data used to determine the safety of dispersants."
"Under intense pressure from President Barack Obama, BP Plc agreed on Wednesday to set up a $20 billion fund for damage claims from its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and suspended dividend payments to its shareholders."
WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans (Channel 6) find that BP's highly publicized statement that it is not barring news media from witnessing the cleanup, or its failure, are in fact not true. Without any legal authority, BP "security" contractors aggressively seek to intimidate and drive away reporters trying to cover the spill and response on public beaches.
"The man appointed Tuesday by President Obama to oversee offshore oil drilling has no experience with oil and gas issues, but he has a reputation for cleaning up embattled organizations."
"The official estimate of the flow rate from the leaking gulf oil well has surged again, with government officials announcing Tuesday that 35,000 to 60,000 barrels (1.47 million to 2.52 million gallons) of oil a day are now gushing from the reservoir deep beneath the gulf."
After BP's senior drilling engineer testified that BP and contractors had worked in concert to build the safest possible well, Congressional investigators released email suggesting he was not telling the truth.
Hurricanes could generate strong waves and underwater currents that could damage some of the 31,000 miles of underwater pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, causing damaging oil spills, a newly published scientific study says.
The CEOs of 5 oil giants admitted to a House panel that their spill-response plans for gulf drilling relied on the same boilerplate, inadequate but reassuring, used by BP to claim it could handle a Gulf spill. The Minerals Management Service approved the plans.
"Facing the possibility that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill could arrive on its reefs and beaches in the coming weeks, many in the Florida Keys are once again angry about perceived fools and bureaucrats. In particular, they've watched how BP has monopolized and, in the eyes of many, mismanaged the oil cleanup in the northern Gulf of Mexico and are frantically trying to organize an independent local response."
"President Obama urged the nation Tuesday to rally behind legislation that would begin changing the way the country consumes and generates energy, saying the expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is 'the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.'"
"President Obama promised residents of the Gulf Coast on Monday that 'things are going to return to normal' in the region, which has been devastated by the BP oil spill, and his administration said the British energy giant appears willing to meet a demand to establish a multibillion-dollar victims' compensation fund for those affected by the oil spill."
"Senate Democrats sent a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward today calling on the company to set aside $20 billion in a special account to be used to pay for economic damages and cleanup costs of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."
"Lawmakers are taking direct aim at BP's decision-making process -- specifically, how the company weighed profits against safety concerns -- ahead of an upcoming congressional hearing on the Gulf oil disaster."