July 19, 2012 |
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.
July 10, 2012 |
The July 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Mich., though little-known by the public, was widely considered one of the worst inland oil spills in U.S. history. Now, the National Transportation Safety Board has released the results of a two-year investigation into the spill -- and Enbridge Energy Partners takes it on the chin. For starters, NTSB investigators said, Enbridge knew that its pipeline had been damaged five years before the spill. When the spill actually occurred, investigators said, the company's response was, in short, "poor.
July 9, 2012 |
SEATTLE -- In an effort to hold oil companies to a higher standard in the Arctic Ocean, a coalition of conservation groups announced Monday that they are suing to challenge the federal government's approval of oil spill cleanup plans for Shell Alaska's upcoming operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The lawsuit, which is being filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, seeks to invoke the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a tough law passed in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
July 5, 2012 |
SEATTLE - A unique ice-class barge designed to clean up any oil spills that might result from Shell Alaska's upcoming operations in the Arctic Ocean has so far failed to acquire final U.S. Coast Guard certification. Engineers from the oil company say it's no longer appropriate to require them to meet the rigorous weather standards originally proposed. Further, sea trials for the Arctic Challenger - a 37-year-old barge undergoing a multimillion-dollar retrofit - have been delayed in Washington state as federal inspectors insist on improvements to electrical, piping and fire protection systems, a senior Coast Guard inspector confirmed Thursday.
July 3, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is putting a positive spin on a new peace plan for Syria agreed to over the weekend in Geneva by the Syria Action Group, which comprises the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council as well as Turkey and Arab representatives. We hope her optimism is justified, but Russia continues to send maddeningly mixed signals about whether it recognizes that the time has come for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Already a humanitarian tragedy, the civil war in Syria now threatens to spill into international conflict.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2012 |
An environmental crusader known as "Mr. Malibu" has apologized to Pepperdine University and retracted accusations that the school is to blame for effluent flowing down Marie Canyon Creek and into the Pacific Ocean. In exchange, the university has agreed to drop a lawsuit against activist Cary ONeal that alleged libel and "invasion of privacy by placing person in a false light in public eye. " In two videos he posted online, ONeal claimed that a foamy substance pooling on a Malibu beach was sewage released by Pepperdine.
April 25, 2012 |
HOUSTON — The Justice Department on Tuesday unveiled the first criminal charges in its investigation of the 2010 BP oil spill: two counts of obstruction of justice filed against a former BP engineer accused of destroying records describing the rate at which oil was flowing from the broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. The engineer, Kurt Mix, was involved in efforts to plug the well as well as internal BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from it in the first months after the spill.
April 24, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- In the first criminal charges to emerge from the federal probe of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a former engineer for BP was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of intentionally destroying evidence requested by federal authorities who were investigating the April 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. Kurt Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court's Eastern District of Louisiana and unsealed Tuesday.
April 23, 2012 |
A brutal sell-off overseas spilled into U.S. markets Monday morning, pushing the major averages down more than 1%. Growing political concerns in Europe and disappointing economic data across the continent fed worries that a cure for Europe's sovereign debt crisis, which seemed to be underway only weeks ago, could be in jeopardy amid weakening growth prospects and popular revolt among wide swaths of the European citizenry. Investors were rattled by data showing manufacturing contracting.
April 17, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Two years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion unleashed the worst oil spill in American history, Congress has failed to take meaningful action to prevent a similar disaster, according to a new report from members of a presidential panel. The report cited significant progress by the Obama administration and the oil industry, giving them a B and a C+ grade, respectively, for their efforts to bolster safety, spill response and resources. Congress, however, got a D grade for its inability to "enact any legislation responding to the explosion and spill.