Interviews suggest that politics initially blinded the Obama administration on oil drilling.
"BUDAPEST, Hungary — An aerial photo taken months before a gigantic reservoir unleashed torrents of toxic sludge shows a faint red trail trickling through the container wall — part of a growing body of evidence that inspectors who gave the pit a clean bill of health may have missed warning signs."
"A set of proposed regulations to modernize safety in Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry and force drillers to disclose the chemicals they use cleared a first procedural hurdle Tuesday."
Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, who held President Obama's nomination for OMB director hostage over the deepwater drilling ban, has said she will now hold it hostage until she is satisfied with the pace at which drilling permits are granted.
"The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from the oil industry and others in the Gulf Coast, on Tuesday lifted the moratorium on deep water drilling that it imposed in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.
"A high-priority Obama administration push to unclog a backlog of contested mine safety citations is backfiring. After a West Virginia coal mine explosion in April exposed a weak link in a system designed to identify safety violations, the government has spent $23 million to reform the system. ... Instead, the list of unresolved safety appeals has grown to 18,100 cases, from 16,600 at the time of the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine."
When the Gulf oil spill came to Grand Isle State Park, Louisiana ranger Leanne Sarco knew her job running a summer program for children would be cancelled. So she used Facebook to recruit and organize volunteers in a project to clean oiled hermit crabs.
"Petroleum giant BP's corporate sponsorship of Arco Arena has been lucrative for the Sacramento Kings during a long run that's set to end next year. It's also been a sweet deal for state Capitol workers. Since 2000, Arco's parent company has lavished more than $430,000 in the form of free tickets to basketball games, concerts and other arena events on lawmakers, their staff members and relatives, according to a Bee review of lobbyist disclosures by BP."
"Surprise inspections of deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico dwindled to about three a year over the past decade, even as exploratory drilling far from shore increased, according to federal data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal."
"Workers raced to build an emergency dam in western Hungary on Sunday as cracks in a reservoir widened, threatening to unleash a second torrent of toxic sludge on the village of Kolontar and nearby rivers."