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Oil Spill

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NATIONAL
July 29, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Like city boosters competing to host the Olympics, hundreds of lawyers representing gulf oil spill victims converged on this mountain town Thursday, promoting their Southern cities as the best equipped and the most convenient venue to handle about 300 lawsuits tied to the disaster. Their arguments before seven federal judges — who will make the decision on where the lawsuits will be heard and who will preside over them — is the critical first step in what is expected to be a long and complicated legal battle over damages caused by the nation's worst oil spill.
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NATIONAL
March 28, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
BP, the petroleum giant, has more than doubled its estimate of how much crude oil it spilled this week into Lake Michigan, a source of drinking water for some 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs. On Monday, BP reported the spill into the lake from its Whiting refinery in northwest Indiana. The U.S. Coast Guard and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have been at the site and have been involved in the cleanup. “Any time you get any type of chemical in land or water, no one wants to see it,” Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf, a spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2010 | Steve Harvey
Horrific though the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been, its output is still short of what occurred a century ago in scrubby brush about 110 miles north of Los Angeles — site of the Lakeview gusher. While some experts believe the well off Louisiana has spewed upwards of 60 million gallons of oil into the gulf, the Lakeview well rained about 378 million gallons over an area between the towns of Taft and Maricopa. The spill following the April 20 oil rig explosion in the gulf is, of course, a much bigger environmental and economic disaster.
NATIONAL
March 27, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Less than a week after an oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel, environmentalists say there has been limited damage to nearby bird sanctuaries, but it is to soon to know whether there will be long-term problems to wildlife.  More than 200 birds have been fouled by oil from the spill, caused by a collision involving a fuel barge and a ship on Saturday, according to Richard Gibbons, conservation director of Houston Audubon. The birds are of a variety of species. “It's a terrible event,” Gibbons told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.
OPINION
June 16, 2010 | Charles Wohlforth
After spending around half a billion dollars, scientists paid by the government to study the Exxon Valdez oil spill over the last two decades still cannot answer some of the most important questions about the damage it caused or about whether Prince William Sound will fully recover. We're in danger of ending up just as ignorant after the BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, as once again, our legal, political and economic systems hobble scientists and pervert the search for answers.
OPINION
May 4, 2010 | Charles Wohlforth
Each news update from the BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico tightens a hard knot in my stomach. Alaskans who lived through the Exxon Valdez oil spill feel dark memories resurfacing. We talk about our sadness for the people in the way, people who don't know what's about to hit them. "They still seem to think they'll be able to contain this and stop it, and they just can't," said Rick Steiner, a former University of Alaska fisheries extension agent whose life was irrevocably upset by the Exxon Valdez, which spilled at least 11 million gallons of oil in Prince William Sound 21 years ago. "Not much oil is going to be recovered; they're not going to save much wildlife; they're not going to be able to restore damaged ecosystems."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1989
With all the hand-wringing regarding Exxon and Valdez, hold on to these facts: Oil is biodegradable, and "this, too, shall pass!" LUCILLE GLASSMAN Westminster
NATIONAL
July 19, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE--The vessel designated to act as a crucial oil spill containment system in Arctic waters has obtained Coast Guard  approval to meet less rigorous weather standards than originally proposed. But, less than two weeks before drilling off Alaska's northern coast is due to begin, a series of troubling construction delays have left the Arctic Challenger without federal certification . The certification issue is the most serious Shell must confront if it is to successfully launch a exploratory drilling program, the first in Arctic waters in two decades, in which it already has invested $4 billion.
SCIENCE
July 10, 2013 | By Julie Cart
The federal damage assessment of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill should take into account the broader economic and social impacts of the 2010 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Research Council. The group recommended that the federal Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration program consider "ecosystem services" when it calculates the impact of the BP spill, a difficult-to-measure analysis of the services performed by an ecosystem.
NATIONAL
March 27, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Less than a week after an oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel, environmentalists say there has been limited damage to nearby bird sanctuaries, but it is to soon to know whether there will be long-term problems to wildlife.  More than 200 birds have been fouled by oil from the spill, caused by a collision involving a fuel barge and a ship on Saturday, according to Richard Gibbons, conservation director of Houston Audubon. The birds are of a variety of species. “It's a terrible event,” Gibbons told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.
NATIONAL
March 25, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
A massive fire at an apartment building that was under construction near downtown Houston sent a massive column of smoke over the city Tuesday afternoon. No injuries have been reported. The five-alarm fire was first reported at 12:30 p.m., according to the Houston Fire Department, and officials said almost 200 firefighters were on the scene. At least one worker had to be rescued by ladder from the third floor of the apartment building after the fire broke out, department spokesman Ruy Lozano told KHOU-TV.
NATIONAL
March 24, 2014 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Authorities in Texas were hoping to partially reopen the busy Houston Ship Channel on Monday, officials said, after a significant oil spill over the weekend that is harming wildlife and the local economy. [Updated, 5:35 p.m. March 24: The shipping channel remained closed Monday night. ]  U.S. Coast Guard officials said 168,000 gallons of oil spilled from a barge after a collision with a Liberian-flagged ship in Galveston Bay about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, threatening birds at a nearby wildlife sanctuary.
NATIONAL
March 13, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency and BP announced Thursday an agreement that would allow the energy giant to bid once again on deep-water offshore drilling leases, reversing a government decision two years ago to bar the company from federal contracts following its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In what became the country's worst offshore environmental disaster, BP's Macondo well blew out in April 2010, killing 11 workers and spewing more than 4 million barrels of oil into the gulf.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2014 | By Shan Li
U.S. officials are allowing BP to once again bid on government contracts, lifting a ban imposed on the energy giant after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. BP reached a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency that opens the door for the London-based company to win federal contracts, including new leases in the Gulf of Mexico, BP said Thursday. "After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable," John Minge, chairman and president of BP America, said in a statement.  PHOTOS: World's most expensive cities The EPA imposed the ban in 2012 after concluding that the company did not sufficiently fix issues that led to the well blowout in 2010, which killed 11 workers and leaked millions of gallons of oil. The worst offshore spill in U.S. history also devastated wide stretches of beach in states such as Louisiana and Florida.
NATIONAL
February 24, 2014 | By a Times staff writer
The Mississippi River reopened to water traffic with restrictions Monday afternoon after a weekend oil spill forced its closure, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Officials had closed a 65-mile stretch of the river and the Port of New Orleans after 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled from a barge that ran into a towboat Saturday about 50 miles west over land from New Orleans. Earlier Monday, officials reopened part of the river east of the spill to vessels with Coast Guard approval.
NATIONAL
February 24, 2014 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
A portion of the lower Mississippi River reopened Monday after a weekend oil spill, but another stretch remained closed, leaving 29 ships stuck, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials. Officials had closed a 65-mile stretch of the river and the port of New Orleans after 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled from a barge that ran into a towboat Saturday about 50 miles west of New Orleans. On Monday, officials reopened a portion of the river east of the spill to vessels with Coast Guard approval.
NATIONAL
February 26, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
The massive civil lawsuit stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, originally scheduled to go to trial Monday in New Orleans, has been postponed for one week to give oil giant BP and lawyers for more than 120,000 plaintiffs time to continue settlement talks. The postponement of the start of the trial to March 5 was announced in a joint statement Sunday from BP, which was in charge of the drilling project, and the group of plaintiffs' attorneys known as the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, or PSC. "BP and the PSC are working to reach agreement to fairly compensate people and businesses affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill," the statement read.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
It would be perfectly proper for BP, the giant British oil company, to feel a sense of corporate remorse. After all, the firm was responsible for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and well blowout that took 11 lives and created "immense environmental damage" in and around the gulf. (Those words were uttered by a Department of Justice official just over a year ago, when BP pleaded guilty to a dozen felony charges and agreed to pay $4 billion in penalties and fines.)
SCIENCE
February 13, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Scientists have cracked a cellular biology mystery underlying a harmful effect oil spills have on fish: irregular heartbeats that can lead to cardiac arrest. In studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on bluefin tuna spawning in the Gulf of Mexico, the research team discovered that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, block “signaling pathways” that allow potassium and calcium ions to flow in and out of cardiac cell membranes and sustain normal heart rates.
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