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Oil Drilling

October 23, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Russian officials on Wednesday dropped piracy charges against Greenpeace activists who were jailed last month after protesting oil drilling in the Arctic, charging them instead with hooliganism. An investigation led officials to issue the less severe charges of hooliganism, which carry a maximum penalty of seven years, instead of piracy, which could mean up to 15 years in prison, Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement. “A big volume of work was conducted by the investigators, which established an objective picture of the events that happened,” investigative committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said late Wednesday on the agency's website.
September 25, 2013 | By Maria L. La Ganga
SEATTLE - Six months after federal officials chastised Shell Oil for its faulty offshore drilling operations in the Arctic, the company has yet to explain what safeguards it has put in place or when it plans to resume exploring for oil in the vulnerable region. Shell's 2012 return to offshore Arctic exploration after a generation away was marred by high-profile problems, including hefty fines for polluting the air and a drilling rig that ran aground. The company canceled its 2013 drilling season, and its 2014 operations are in question.
August 16, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
The city of Whittier and a conservation group have reached an agreement to allow a controversial oil-drilling project under a nature preserve, a proposal that immediately drew fire from opponents. Under the settlement, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a regional government entity dedicated to preserving open space and wildlife, is to receive up to $11.25 million a year from the city of Whittier's royalties from the oil. The authority will use the money to buy and preserve land elsewhere in the county.
July 25, 2013 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Hundreds of residents and community members packed the Hermosa Beach community theater Wednesday, the first of several planned meetings to discuss the possibility of reopening the city to oil drilling. Many seemed skeptical of the project and the oil company, E&B Natural Resources, which wants to drill as many as 30 wells horizontally from a city maintenance yard just blocks from the beach. The meeting, which stretched for four hours and drew more than 300 people, marks the beginning of a months-long environmental review of what could be the city's first oil project in more than 80 years and was held to discuss what effects residents would like to see studied.
July 22, 2013 | Christine Mai-Duc
Mike Collins was raised in oil country but dreamed of living at the beach. As a young boy in Bakersfield, he accompanied his father to dusty fields dotted with derricks where he repaired the motors on oil rigs. On his bedroom wall hung a poster of a house perched atop a cliff, overlooking the ocean waves. "Justification for higher education," his mother called it. Now a psychologist, Collins bought his dream house four blocks from the seashore in tiny Hermosa Beach nearly five years ago. He surfs or paddleboards daily and often rides his bicycle to work.
June 28, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- In spite of a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House on Friday launched a new effort to open up the California and Atlantic coasts to oil drilling. The measure is a long shot in the face of fierce opposition in the Democratic-led Senate and from the White House. Still, Republicans are eager to stoke the debate over offshore drilling and highlight differences between the parties over energy policy heading into next year's election battles for control of the House and Senate.
March 6, 2013 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, who has the Sierra Club's backing in his race against City Controller Wendy Greuel, has cut his ties to an oil drilling operation at Beverly Hills High School. The Times reported last week that the city councilman had signed a lease in 1998 that granted Venoco Inc. drilling rights to a retail property he co-owns through a personal trust. In a document dated Tuesday, when Garcetti finished first in the mayoral primary, he assigned his interest in the lease to family friend John Stillman, a Newport Beach attorney.
March 1, 2013 | By Maeve Reston and James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
In the midst of a deluge of outside spending to boost the campaign of Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, several rivals sharply questioned the city controller's ability to serve as an independent voice at City Hall at a time when the union representing the city's water and power workers has spent nearly a million dollars on her behalf. When the five major mayoral contenders met for their final debate on KCAL-TV Channel 9 Friday night, Greuel had benefited from at least $2.65 million in independent spending - a figure that dwarfed the outside aid for her rivals.
February 26, 2013 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
In his bid for Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti has promoted himself as the greenest of candidates. The city councilman from Silver Lake has pushed for an expansion of L.A.'s rooftop solar-panel program and the creation of thousands of clean-energy jobs, all to reduce the region's dependence on oil. Those positions helped Garcetti win the Sierra Club's endorsement. Missing from Garcetti's environmental platform, however, is any hint that he has long stood to profit from a lease interest in a headline-making oil drilling operation: the wells run by Venoco Inc. at Beverly Hills High School.
February 1, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
The city of Whittier and a Santa Barbara oil company prompted outrage Thursday as they began clearing trees and brush from a nature preserve that was bought with Los Angeles County tax dollars to protect it from development. Whittier purchased the land and its mineral rights 19 years ago with $9.3 million in county Proposition A funds, which are designated for conservation purposes only. But the city later reversed course, learning that oil deposits could bring the city up to $100 million a year in royalties - nearly double its $55-million budget.
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