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 6, 2011 |
The presidential commission examining the causes of the BP oil spill Wednesday laid blame for the disaster on corporate mismanagement, inadequate government regulation and ultimately a lack of political will to ensure proper oversight of the oil industry as it pushed drilling rigs into ever deeper waters. Releasing a key chapter of its final report on the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the commission recounted what is by now the well-known string of missteps that led to one of the world's largest offshore oil spills.
November 25, 2010 |
Fans of John McPhee's 1981 book "Basin and Range" will remember Kenneth S. Deffeyes, the longtime Princeton professor who helped guide the reader through what was then called the "New Geology. " "Deffeyes," McPhee wrote, "is a big man with a tenured waistline. His hair flies behind him like Ludwig van Beethoven. He lectures in sneakers. " Deffeyes doesn't lecture anymore — he retired in 1998 — but his hair still tends to get unruly. Likewise, the findings in Deffeyes' latest book might cause oil executives — even those not affiliated with BP — to go gray overnight.
November 22, 2010 |
Facing the worst offshore oil disaster in American history, BP rapidly developed and carried out new technologies to contain the damage, and government watchdogs established "effective oversight," according to a report issued Monday by the presidential panel investigating the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. But the rare praise for the way they responded after disaster struck was coupled with scathing indictments of...
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.
November 7, 2010 |
Like many of my fellow Californians, I awoke Wednesday morning, rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and discovered that our state had seceded from the union. Anti-incumbent tidal wave? We reached back 27 years to find an incumbent governor to embrace. Small government? By passing Proposition 25, we started to unlock the manacles preventing the state Legislature from actually passing a budget in the year it's supposed to take effect. Removing the dead hand of regulation so the private sector can pump up its job-creating chest and bellow?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2010 |
Proposition 23, the oil industry sponsored initiative to suspend California's greenhouse gas law , was touted early on by environmentalists as a "David vs. Goliath" battle. "Its our slingshot vs. their oily club," said Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for opponents. But in the end, Proposition 23 failed by a stunning 61% to 39%, giving heart to national environmental leaders and signaling the advent of new players in eco-politics: high-tech entrepreneurs, mainly based in Silicon Valley, who see clean energy as an economic investment.
October 20, 2010 |
I am a member of the last generation of Soviet people ? those who were born and came of age in the USSR. In 1990, the final year of the Soviet Union's existence, I was 27 years old. The next generation ? of which the first of my sons, born in 1985, is part ? only knows about "those times" from our stories. Growing up, an ordinary young man from the outskirts of Moscow from a family of engineers who worked at a Soviet factory, I believed the things that were said on television, written in the newspapers and taught in school.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 2010 |
Fundraising for a ballot initiative to suspend California's global warming law has flagged, but oil companies and other business interests are pouring millions of dollars into a separate ballot measure that could dry up funds to implement the law. Proposition 26 would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, rather than the current simple majority, to enact any regulatory fees such as those imposed on tobacco companies to fund health-related programs,...