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Oil Spill

NATIONAL
November 17, 2012 | By Joseph Serna
Two workers on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico were still missing Saturday, following an explosion on the site a day earlier that injured nine other people. The U.S. Coast Guard was searching a 1,400-square-mile area of ocean Saturday around a Black Elk Energy rig that burst into flames Friday when oil caught fire as workers cut through a pipe. The platform is off the Louisiana shore, about 20 miles southeast of Grand Isle. The rig had been shut down since mid-August, company officials said, leaving authorities little concern about an oil spill.
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NATIONAL
November 16, 2012 | By Michael Muskal and Richard Simon
An oil platform exploded off of the coast of Louisiana, injuring at least four people, the Coast Guard said Friday. Officials were searching for at least two people who were believed to be missing. The explosion took place about 9 a.m. local time, sparking a fire on the platform that has since been extinguished, a Coast Guard spokesman, Chief Bobby Nash, said in an  interview with the Los Angeles Times. At least four people were evacuated from the platform, about 25 miles off the coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle, and taken to a hospital.
NATIONAL
November 16, 2012 | By Michael Muskal and Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- BP has accepted criminal responsibility for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that it said has put the criminal part of one of the nation's worst environmental disasters in the rear-view mirror. Even if that is true, and the government has insisted that its criminal probe is ongoing, BP's troubles are far from over. On the horizon is a civil case that could cost the company billions of dollars more, as well as continuing concerns by lawmakers about how to safeguard the nation's environment and regulate a key industry.
NATIONAL
November 15, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - As a dramatic, 24-7 webcast showed oil gushing from BP's blown-out well during the spring and summer of 2010, Rep. Edward J. Markey suspected the oil giant was underestimating the amount of the spill. On Thursday, after BP agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties and fees and plead guilty to criminal misconduct, including lying to Congress to make the spill "appear less catastrophic than it was," the Massachusetts Democrat had this to say: "BP lied to me. And they lied to all Americans.
NATIONAL
November 15, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall and Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
Laying the blame for the deaths of 11 oil rig workers in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf of Mexico spill on BP, federal prosecutors announced Thursday that two BP supervisors had been charged with manslaughter and the company would pay a $4-billion criminal fine, the largest in U.S. history. "Those deaths were in fact unnecessary," Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said in New Orleans, adding that the federal investigation continued into the 2010 disaster and the nation's biggest offshore oil spill.
NATIONAL
November 15, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Oil company BP has agreed to plead guilty to misconduct and negligence charges and pay a record $4.5-billion fine in connection with the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, one of the nation's worst environmental disasters. In an announcement Thursday morning from its London headquarters, BP confirmed that it had reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve all federal criminal charges and all claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the company stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, the subsequent oil spill and the response.
NATIONAL
November 15, 2012 | By Michael Muskal and Ronald D. White
Oil giant BP and three of its employees were indicted on criminal charges including manslaughter and obstruction of Congress on top of a record $4-billion fine that the company will pay the government for its role in the oil spill disaster that scarred the Gulf of Mexico, officials announced Thursday. Led by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., officials announced the indictments in a televised news conference from New Orleans, where the grand jury has been investigating the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
British oil giant BP can easily afford to pay the $4.5 billion in oil-spill settlement costs announced Thursday, but analysts said a more difficult task may be rebuilding its reputation. BP agreed to the fines and other payments to the federal government and others and pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts related to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers in April 2010. It also agreed to a misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act, a misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and a felony count of obstruction of Congress.
NATIONAL
October 31, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - The Kulluk drilling rig was in the process of dismantling in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska on Wednesday, concluding Shell Alaska's troubled debut season of offshore drilling in the U.S. Arctic. Company officials said the Noble Discoverer rig was already headed south out of the Chukchi Sea, and operations in the Beaufort were coming to a close on the last day allowed under federal permits for drilling, prohibited after the onset of winter ice. “Given the challenges we faced from the perspective of sea ice and logistics in deploying assets and employees to the Arctic for the first time in two decades, we're very pleased with the work we accomplished,” Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told the Los Angeles Times.
NEWS
October 16, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
Mitt Romney said "the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. " According to the Bureau of Land Management, in fiscal year 2011, 2,188 leases were issued for energy development on federal lands.  Four years earlier, in fiscal year 2007, 3499 leases were issued. So, not quite a 50% drop, but a drop nonetheless. However, the biggest drop-off came in fiscal year 2008, to 2,416 leases. The fiscal year for the federal government starts Oct. 1, 2007, so that decline began under the Bush administration.
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