EJToday: Top Headlines
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"The story of the last cataclysmic American oil spill has evolved over time into a straightforward tale of cause and effect.... A commission that investigated the Alaska spill found that oil companies cut corners to maximize profits. Systems intended to prevent disaster failed, and no backups were in place. Regulators were too close to the oil industry and approved woefully inadequate accident response and cleanup plans. History is repeating, say officials who investigated the Valdez, because the lessons of two decades ago remain unheeded."
"The Coast Guard has modified a policy on safety zones around boom deployed on oiled coastlines, a policy news organizations had said unnecessarily restricted coverage of the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and efforts to clean it up."
The co-chairmen of a presidential commission probing the BP oil spill did not ask any probing questions of the one BP exec to testify at the panel's first hearing Monday.
A billion-dollar BP oil rig named Thunder Horse almost sunk in the Gulf after a 2005 hurricane. "The problems at Thunder Horse were not an anomaly, but a warning that BP was taking too many risks and cutting corners in pursuit of growth and profits, according to analysts, competitors and former employees. Despite a catalog of crises and near misses in recent years, BP has been chronically unable or unwilling to learn from its mistakes, an examination of its record shows."
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued revised rules on Monday for a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, replacing an earlier one that had been declared invalid by federal courts."
"Last March, President Obama promised he'd have a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to the federal government on hand by July 29. A full year later, federal agencies still have not received any new directives and some government scientists say that conditions have not improved noticeably since Obama took power."
"They may not be the 500-pound 'Frankenfish' that some researchers were talking about 10 years ago, but a Massachusetts company says it's on the verge of receiving federal approval to market a quick-growing Atlantic salmon that's been genetically modified with help from a Pacific Chinook salmon."
"A tiny insect is literally sucking the life out of hemlock trees in the Eastern United States. The hemlock wooly adelgid was first spotted in Virginia in the 1950s. Since then it's hit roughly half the hemlocks from Georgia to Massachusetts."
"The presidential commission appointed to study the causes of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and to recommend improvements for offshore drilling has navigated tight spots as it prepares to begin work this week."
"For environmentalists, the BP oil spill may be disproving the maxim that great tragedies produce great change."