"BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Tar balls washed onto Gulf of Mexico beaches by Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month show that oil left over from last year's BP spill isn't breaking down as quickly as some scientists thought it would, university researchers said Tuesday."
"A powerful typhoon struck Japan on Wednesday, pummelling the Tokyo area with heavy rain, disrupting public transportation and leaving four people dead, and it was headed towards the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant."
"ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Shell Oil Co. on Monday took a step closer to tapping vast petroleum reserves off Alaska's Arctic coasts when the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved an air quality permit for one of the company's drilling vessels."
"Tens of thousands of people marched in Tokyo on Monday in the biggest show of public opposition to nuclear power since the start of the Fukushima Daiichi crisis in March."
"As an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News has shown , oil refining is one of the country’s most dangerous industries, where even seemingly small recurring events such as equipment breakdowns and fires can have fatal consequences. Yet an easily manipulated regulatory system allows companies to delay or avoid improvements. While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration occasionally appears to take a tough stance, identifying perils and proposing fines, the fines are often small and can be appealed for long periods of time, delaying fixes."
"Efforts to shore up FEMA disaster aid advanced Tuesday in the Senate, setting up a showdown with the Republican-led House where leaders have insisted supplemental aid be paid for with comparable spending cuts elsewhere."
"Scientists are beginning to get a picture of the environmental impact of Tropical Storm Irene, which ripped through some of the East Coast's most pristine rivers, triggering hundreds of oil, chemical and sewage spills. Now, some environmental groups worry that the cleanup could cause even more harm."
"BP, running weeks behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget in trying to complete its troubled Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, took many shortcuts that contributed to the disastrous blowout and oil spill there last year, federal investigators concluded in a report released on Wednesday."