January 3, 2013
There's at least a tiny bit of good news in the grounding of an oil rig in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska: As of midday Wednesday, the Kulluk, which ran aground near Kodiak Island, didn't appear to be leaking fuel, thanks to its double hull of 3-inch-thick steel. We've learned some things about oil and safety since the Exxon Valdez. But the overwhelming lesson of the Kulluk, which broke free of boats trying to tow it to Seattle after its first season in the Beaufort Sea, is that for all the precautions taken by Royal Dutch Shell, neither the company's executives nor federal regulators were fully prepared for the hazardous conditions in the Arctic.
January 1, 2013 |
Days of efforts trying to guide a mobile offshore drilling rig through stormy Alaska seas hit a crisis Monday night when crew members were forced to disconnect the rig from its last remaining tow line and the vessel went aground on a small island south of Kodiak. “The first priority was the safety of the people,” said Darci Sinclair, spokeswoman for the unified command of U.S. Coast Guard, Shell Alaska and drill ship owners who had been trying mightily to avoid just such an eventuality ever since the Kulluk rig first ran into trouble Thursday night.
December 30, 2012 |
— USC, already without quarterback Matt Barkley for the Sun Bowl, finished Saturday's practice with receiver Marqise Lee and running back Curtis McNeal in question for Monday's game against Georgia Tech. Lee, an All-American who won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, was held out of most of USC's final workout after apparently hurting his left knee during a drill. Asked whether he was optimistic that Lee would play Monday, Coach Lane Kiffin said, "I'm hopeful, that's for sure….
December 29, 2012 |
VANCOUVER, B.C. - U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were evacuating the crew of a troubled oil drilling barge off the coast of southern Alaska Saturday afternoon after engine troubles on its tow vessel had left the barge drifting toward landfall south of Kodiak Island. The move followed a tense night, when high seas and heavy winds prevented any evacuation and left Coast Guard officials worried that the Kulluk rig, which was returning from a season of offshore drilling in the Arctic, could run aground if the situation were not brought under control.
December 28, 2012 |
In the new eco-drama "Promised Land," co-writers and co-stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski take on the hot-button issue of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," through which chemicals are pumped into the ground to extract natural gas. Damon plays an ace corporate salesman trying to buy up drilling rights in a Pennsylvania farm town, and Krasinski plays an anti-fracking activist. For many critcs, however, the film itself doesn't dig deep enough to fulfill its potential. The Times' Kenneth Turan writes that "Promised Land" has "a strong cast and an intriguing premise that has the added bonus of real-world relevance," but "the film flounders before it reaches its conclusion" and is ultimately "too gimmicky for its evident earnestness.
December 27, 2012 |
SEATTLE -- A drilling rig that launched landmark exploratory oil operations in the Chukchi Sea Arctic this summer has been cited by the U.S. Coast Guard for serious “discrepancies” in its safety and pollution discharge equipment, the latest in a series of vessel problems that have plagued Royal Dutch Shell's foray into the Alaskan Arctic. The Noble Corp., owner of the 47-year-old Discoverer, disclosed Thursday it discovered additional deficiencies in its own inspections, including the possibility of unauthorized collected water discharges outside the allowable period for drilling operations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2012 |
Federal officials Thursday proposed a massive expansion to federal protection of waters off Northern California from offshore oil drilling, seabed mining and ocean dumping. The proposal would more than double the size of the national marine sanctuaries around the Cordell Bank and the Farallon Islands. When combined with the massive Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the newly expanded system would protect more than a third of California's offshore waters from oil drilling, from Cambria in San Luis Obispo County to Point Arena in Mendocino County.
December 19, 2012 |
The Obama administration on Wednesday announced its plan t o allow oil and gas drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the first time a blueprint has been drawn up for the entire 23-million acre block on Alaska's North Slope. The plan, announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, opens 11.8 million acres for development in an area believed to hold 549 million barrels of economically recoverable oil and 8.7 trillion cubic feet of economically recoverable natural gas. Conservation groups applauded the approach as a reasonable compromise that sets aside five areas that are largely off limits to drilling, including Teshekpuk Lake, the Colville River, Utukok Uplands, Kasegaluk Lagoon and Peard Bay. The NPR-A is the largest contiguous piece of public land in the United States and is rich with wildlife, including two caribou herds, polar bears, Grizzly Bears and millions of migratory birds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2012 |
SHAFTER - In this lush pocket of Kern County, where the agriculture and oil industries have long coexisted, Mike Hopkins' almond orchard has become a battlefield in a dispute that extends to the governor's office. Hopkins is standing up to the oil industry - and Gov. Jerry Brown - by filing a lawsuit against the state to bar energy company Venoco Inc. from drilling an exploratory well on his farm without a full environmental review. Venoco has the mineral rights to Hopkins' 38-acre farm.
November 27, 2012 |
Lakers guard Steve Nash will be sidelined until at least next week, still unable to run without pain in his lower left leg, he said Tuesday. Nash took part in some agility drills Monday and tried to do some jogging but couldn't complete it symptom-free. He will probably undergo an MRI exam to get a fresh update on the small fracture in his lower left leg. Nash said he would not play Friday or Sunday, adding he'd be out "about another week" in a brief interview. The Lakers continue to wait, eager to see what their offense looks like under his guidance.