February 25, 2013 |
NEW ORLEANS - Energy giant BP, behind schedule and $50 million over budget drilling a deep-water well, emphasized cost-cutting over safety, causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, lawyers said Monday as the company's high-stakes civil trial began. Lawyers used PowerPoint presentations to provide a dramatic recounting of the April 20, 2010, explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 crew members. Workers were preparing to temporarily cap the Macondo well 4,100 feet underwater when it blew up. The 30-story drilling vessel about 50 miles offshore burned for two days before crumpling into the gulf.
May 2, 2013 |
The seafood is safe to eat and the Gulf of Mexico tourism industry is recovering three years after the nation's worst offshore oil spill spewed more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the waters off Louisiana. But despite that BP-sponsored commercial message, something appears to be amiss at the bottom of the Gulf's food chain, according to new research. Oil buried in sediments in the shallow waters of the Gulf is triggering genetic reactions in the gills and livers of local populations of killifish, a ubiquitous prey for marine species vital to the region's economy, according to a study published this week in the review Environmental Science & Technology.
February 19, 2013 |
With the ink barely dry on the record-breaking $4-billion check BP wrote to settle criminal charges stemming from its Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, the energy giant now faces a protracted court battle that could cost it billions more. The civil trial scheduled to begin next week could expose BP to about $17 billion in fines for violating the Clean Water Act. If imposed, the fine would be the largest environmental penalty in U.S. history. The first phase of the nonjury trial will focus on the cause of the April 20, 2010, explosion that killed 11 people and spewed an estimated 4 million barrels of oil into the gulf over 84 days.
June 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department and the state of Arkansas filed suit against the oil giant ExxonMobil over a March 29 pipeline rupture that spilled 210,000 gallons of oil into a residential neighborhood and waterways in the small town of Mayflower. The spill prompted evacuations, killed wildlife, polluted wetlands and a lake, and stirred health complaints from people living near the rupture site, north of Little Rock. In the suit filed in federal district court, the Justice Department seeks civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act. The Arkansas attorney general is also pursuing civil penalties for violations of the Arkansas Hazardous Waste Management Act and the Arkansas Water and Air Pollution Control Act. The state also seeks to have ExxonMobil pay for all cleanup and removal costs under the federal Oil Pollution Act. The ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline split open just as the Obama administration entered the final phases of review for the far bigger, controversial Keystone XL pipeline, handing ammunition to opponents who say that Keystone's path from Canada through major rivers such as the Platte and the Missouri and over the Ogallala aquifer, the main freshwater source for the Great Plains, could lead to a catastrophe.
June 16, 2010 |
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.
May 4, 2010 |
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."