Five top executives at Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, gave up some $250,000 of the $898,282 in bonuses they received this month. The firm had been criticized for claiming a "best year" in safety of operations after 11 people died on the rig. One quarter of the bonus amount was explicitly tied to safety.
"United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."
"Wildfires fed off what were described as 'perfect' conditions for burning again on Monday across drought-stricken Texas and nearby states."
"The U.S. government lashed out at companies at the heart of last year's Gulf oil spill on Monday, denying reports it had negotiated a deal with BP to resume drilling."
"A year after the worst coal mining accident in decades took the lives of 29 workers, prompting urgent calls to revamp oversight of one of the country's most dangerous jobs, not much has changed in the lives of those who toil deep underground."
"As the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station continued to dump radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, company officials said that seawater collected near the facility contained radiation several million times the legal limit."
Two employees of Transocean, owner of the rig that exploded, killed 11, and fouled the Gulf, are refusing to testify on the incident in a federal hearing. Transocean says it is powerless to make them do so. Citing a "best" year in safety despite the 11 deaths, Transocean awarded bonuses to executives.
"In the last 150 years, prospectors and energy companies have drilled as many as 12 million holes across the U.S. in search of oil and gas. Many were plugged after they dried up. But hundreds of thousands were simply abandoned and forgotten, often leaving no records of their existence. Government reports have warned for decades that abandoned wells can provide pathways for oil, gas or brine-laden water to contaminate groundwater supplies or to travel up to the surface."
"BP is in talks with the Interior Department about permits that would allow it to resume deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The company hopes that it can restart several projects sometime this summer."
"With so many pipeline accidents in the last few months that federal investigators cannot get to them all, the secretary of transportation plans to introduce a safety campaign on Monday aimed at coordinating federal, state and local oversight and making more information available to the public about potential hazards under foot."