Denial of news media access to Gulf beaches has been an issue since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. There's tussling over access to (and interpretation of) scientific information on possible impacts of the spill on the Gulf ecosystem. And The Guardian obtained >30,000 pages of BP in-house memos FOIA'd by Greenpeace, which suggest BP was working hard to influence the results of the research it was paying for.
"Federal regulators [Tuesday] reopened commercial and recreational fishing in all federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico that were closed to fishing due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill."
"The Japanese government is considering whether to impose legal controls on access to an evacuated area around a damaged nuclear power plant, a senior official said on Wednesday."
Today is the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout that caused a catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. The consequences to people, natural resources, and industries are still happening, and just beginning to be understood. BP is making profits, paying dividends, and having protestors from the Gulf hustled out of its shareholder meetings by police. The tarballs? Security guards patrolling Louisiana public beaches still prevent journalists from filming them. The $20 billion in compensation set aside by BP has not prevented many people from feeling that their lives have been ruined by the event. Elected officials have resumed the chant: "Drill, baby, drill." Now Freedom-of-Information requests have brought to light documentation that the UK government refused to go to war in Iraq without guarantees that BP and other British firms would get a share of the conquered nation's oil.
"Hundreds of activists protesting fossil fuels marched to the Department of the Interior's headquarters [Monday] and swarmed inside, calling for the abolition of offshore oil drilling, coal mining and tar sands extraction."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission exists to police, not promote, the domestic nuclear industry -- but diplomatic cables show that it is sometimes used as a sales tool to help push American technology to foreign governments."
"Every year, Volodymyr Palkin spends at least two months in a Kiev hospital. He was one of hundreds of thousands of rescue workers sent to fight the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant and says his health has been permanently ruined by his work."
There is a construction boom in nuclear power reactors in parts of Asia. Some of those reactors are built close to the sea in areas that are likely quite vulnerable to quakes and tsunamis.
"At least 45 people have been confirmed dead after a furious storm that has reportedly spawned over 100 tornadoes during the past week tore through the Midwest and moved on to southern states...." Meanwhile, budget cuts in the stopgap 2011 spending bill will diminish the National Weather Service's ability to predict weather that may harm people, property, or businesses.
The Louisiana sand spit called Elmer's island belongs to the state of Louisiana, and is supposed to be open to the public. But guards hired by BP denied a CNN reporter access when he tried to see how the post-spill cleanup was going. BP and its contractor say the secrecy is to protect equipment, but the only equipment is rakes. BP says the area is accessible to the public even though it isn't. The U.S. Coast would not return CNN's calls.