CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 2013 |
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) asked federal environmental officials Thursday to ensure the safety of a low-income South Los Angeles community where residents worry that their dizziness, headaches and nosebleeds may be linked to noxious odors from an urban oil field. In a terse letter, Boxer asked U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy to "immediately address these unacceptable situations using all available and appropriate authorities. " Boxer requested a response by Monday describing the steps that the EPA will take to address the chemical smells, which waft through the University Park neighborhood from an oil-pumping operation on land Allenco Energy Co. leases from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
September 23, 2013 |
CASPER, Wyo. - These are boom times in the resource-rich Cowboy State, courtesy of an oil explosion whose ripples can be felt across the land. Good-paying blue-collar jobs in the petroleum and natural gas fields are as plentiful as pickups here, and the unemployment rate - 4.6% in July - remains far below the 7.4% national average. But critics worry that the prodigious oil output includes a potential byproduct. Despite such fast-dollar success, heavy reliance on a single industry known for its dramatic downturns could one day help paint the state into a precarious financial corner, they say. Many fear the day when Wyoming's oil market fails, as it last did in the mid-1980s, exposing a fundamental flaw in the state's job picture: The lure of the oil dollar has prompted teenagers to skip college, or abandon high school, for the petroleum fields - many without a Plan B if things go bust.
September 1, 2013 |
More than 25 years ago, Stanford University petroleum engineering graduates Halbert S. Washburn and Randall H. Breitenbach had a brainstorm. The major U.S. oil companies were abandoning oil fields nationwide for cheaper crude opportunities abroad. Why not form a company to fill the void by buying existing oil fields at low cost and extracting all of the crude that remained in the fields the industry giants had left behind? So they formed BreitBurn Energy Partners, now based in downtown Los Angeles.
August 7, 2013 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - They begin lining up early here for the comforting illusion of stability in uncertain times. "Dollars provide some security," explained Abu Mohammed, a young man in jeans and a T-shirt who was one of scores enduring long waits to exchange Syrian pounds for U.S. currency. The demand for scarce greenbacks at exchanges in the Syrian capital is just one symptom of the economic woes facing Syria, which long was regarded as one of the Middle East's most livable places.
March 31, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Residents of a Kurdish neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo fled Sunday under intense government shelling estimated at three shells per minute, activists said. The bombardment on the Sheikh Maqsood district came two days after opposition fighters said they seized the strategic neighborhood. Residents were told to leave as government troops fought to regain parts of the district, said Riyad Islam, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center. The mostly Kurdish residents fled to the predominantly Kurdish town of Efrin, northwest of Aleppo, he said.
March 30, 2013 |
TAFT, Calif. - This two-stoplight town was built on petroleum, and residents here never miss a chance to pay tribute. A 38-foot monument to wildcatters stands downtown; locals brag it's the tallest bronze sculpture west of the Mississippi. Every five years, the city throws an "Oildorado" festival. There's even a beauty pageant in which young women dubbed "the maids of petroleum" vie to be crowned queen. It's all an homage to the bustling days when Taft boasted two giant oil fields and Standard Oil Co. of California was headquartered there.