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Oil Spills

November 9, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
A train that derailed and exploded in rural Alabama was hauling 2.7 million gallons of crude oil, according to officials. The 90-car train was crossing a timber trestle above a wetland near Aliceville late Thursday night when approximately 25 rail cars and two locomotives derailed, spilling crude oil into the surrounding wetlands and igniting a fire that was still burning Saturday. Each of the 90 cars was carrying 30,000 gallons of oil, said Bill Jasper, president of the rail company Genesee & Wyoming at a press briefing Friday night.
November 8, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
A 90-car train derailed and exploded in rural Alabama early Friday morning, spilling its crude oil cargo into the surrounding wetlands and igniting a fire so intense that officials said it will take 24 hours to burn out. No one was injured. The train was crossing a timber trestle above a wetland near Aliceville late Thursday night when 20 railcars and two of three locomotives derailed. Earlier reports said fewer cars had derailed. On Friday morning, about 10 train cars were burning, according to a statement from train owner Genesee & Wyoming.
November 8, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Political science professor Sergei Medvedev, a longtime lover and explorer of the Arctic, drew the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin when he recently called for international protection of the icy northern region in the face of economic development plans. Last month, Putin called Medvedev, who teaches at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, "a moron. " The incident prompted a nationwide discussion of the Arctic and coincided with the arrest of 30 Greenpeace activists protesting a Russian oil drilling project in the region.
October 23, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - About sundown one Sunday in September, North Dakota farmer Steven Jensen noticed that his combine was running over wet, squishy earth in a wheat field he was harvesting. When he took a closer look, he saw that oil had coated the wheels and that it was bubbling up about 6 inches high in spots. That was Sept. 29; Jensen contacted authorities immediately. At least 20,600 barrels of oil leaked onto the Jensens' land from a pipeline owned by Tesoro Logistics, one of the largest land-based spills in recent history.
September 29, 2013 | By Julie Cart
The second phase of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill trial begins Monday in New Orleans, restarting a legal juggernaut that could saddle the energy giant with the largest environmental penalty in U.S. history, determine the future health of the Gulf of Mexico and calculate, finally, the amount of crude oil that spewed from the crippled well. The case - which involves a phalanx of federal and state prosecutors, attorneys for several multinational companies, and highly complex engineering testimony - has been droning on with little fanfare since February.
September 19, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
DENVER - When the worst of the flooding began for Weld County last week, Cliff Willmeng, on a hunch, took his 2003 Subaru and drove east. The county's roads and bridges had begun to disintegrate under the might of the historic floodwaters, to the point that Willmeng, an environmental activist, had trouble navigating. Yet what his gut had told him to look for had been, as he put it, "unfortunately easy to find. " What Willmeng saw, and also photographed, was the drowning of Weld County's extensive oil and gas drilling operations - hundreds of fracking wells that were underwater, and an unknown number of storage tanks and other industrial facilities assaulted by the untamed waters.
September 19, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- The warning from local health officials dealing with the flooding in Colorado is simple: Don't get in the water. Underscoring that message, state officials have reported a 5,250-gallon oil spill from a flood-damaged tank overtaken by the South Platte River in Weld County, a deluged area northeast of Denver. The tank's owner, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., responded by placing absorbent oil booms in the water. But it's not just oil in the floodwaters that is raising concerns.
July 25, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Oil-field services giant Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Halliburton has been charged with one count of destruction of evidence in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. Under a plea agreement that is subject to court approval, Halliburton agreed “to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government's ongoing criminal investigation,” the Justice Department said.
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.
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