February 3, 2012
After Congress pushed the nation to the verge of catastrophe last year by delaying a deal to raise the debt ceiling until the eleventh hour, our capacity to be surprised by that body's irresponsible gamesmanship was somewhat diminished. And yet, we still can't help but be awe-struck by the mess the House of Representatives is preparing to make of the federal transportation bill, a key legislative priority for both parties. On Tuesday, the House Republican leadership unveiled its version of the five-year bill.
January 10, 2012 |
As the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy fades from public concern, its painful lessons seem to have been lost as well. A year ago this week, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling issued its final report, recommending sweeping changes in the way industry and government manage offshore oil drilling. The bipartisan panel made 30 broad recommendations aimed at improving the safety of offshore drilling, safeguarding the environment, strengthening oil spill response, advancing well containment capabilities and ensuring financial responsibility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2011 |
Sale of gas and oil leases officially restarts in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, after a hiatus following the BP oil spill in 2010, and environmental groups are stepping up lawsuits, claiming not enough is known about the effects of that spill. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the oceans advocacy group Oceana are pushing forward with a lawsuit over the environmental impacts of the Gulf spill, financed partly by a “six-figure” donation from “Dallas” star Victoria Principal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 2011 |
Inglewood Oil Field in Culver City will have fewer wells and tighter regulations after Culver City environmental and community groups settled a suit against Plains Exploration & Production and Los Angeles County. The Texas-based oil company will reduce the number of new wells in the field from 600 to 500 through 2028 and has agreed to additional air quality monitoring, noise limits and improved landscaping. "Those who live near the oil field will see fewer wells, hear less noise from drilling and have in place stronger air quality protection than exist today," said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district includes the field.
May 6, 2011 |
With high gas prices becoming a hot political issue, the House on Thursday passed legislation that would expand offshore energy exploration, even though Congress has yet to pass new drilling safeguards a year after the massive gulf oil spill. The Republican-sponsored measure would open the Virginia coast to drilling and expand production in the Gulf of Mexico, but it faces opposition from the White House and long odds against passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Its approval came as gas pump politics has broken out in the Capitol.
January 13, 2011 |
The Obama administration has announced the creation of an agency to focus exclusively on safety in offshore drilling and production, part of an ongoing effort to overhaul lax oversight that investigators said contributed to last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Speaking in unusually blunt terms, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich said Thursday that the government's heightened commitment to safety meant that his agency was unlikely to issue offshore drilling permits at the rapid rate they were before the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, which killed 11 men and started the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
January 13, 2011
Last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill has dropped out of the headlines, and according to a recent federal report, the spilled oil itself has mostly vanished. The only thing left to clean up is the nation's regulatory system, but that's shaping up to be a tougher job than skimming crude from the ocean. President Obama's oil spill panel came up with a sensible list of precautions Tuesday in its final report on the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.
November 19, 2010 |
Amid strong signs that the new Republican majority in the U.S. House will renew attempts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil and gas drilling, key legislators and some of the nation's top environmental groups launched a campaign Friday to designate the refuge as a national monument. The drive to persuade the Obama administration to give the 19-million-acre refuge the kind of national recognition afforded the giant sequoia groves of California or the Grand Canyon is an attempt, conservation groups say, to head off a nearly inevitable push to launch exploratory drilling in the refuge's wildlife-rich coastal plain.
November 10, 2010 |
An Obama administration report last summer wrongly implied that independent oil industry experts had reviewed and approved its moratorium on deep-water drilling after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an investigation by the Interior Department's inspector general has found. The finding caps a controversy that began when a May 27 Interior Department report on stepped-up safety measures, including a moratorium on deep-water drilling, stated that the recommendations "have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.
October 12, 2010 |
Nearly six months after the nation’s worst oil disaster, the Obama administration on Tuesday said it had formally lifted its moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The move had been expected after the White House signaled Tuesday morning that it was going to lift the moratorium, which was praised by environmentalists but sharply criticized by businesses and some government leaders in the region who argued that the ban was an economic burden. As part of the decision, the Obama administration said it would continue with tougher safety requirements designed to prevent a repeat of the April 20 explosion and fire on an offshore oil rig that killed 11 workers.