"The scandal-ridden federal Minerals Management Service is gone, at least in name."
"As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday."
Despite public statements of open media access to Gulf response operation by the Coast Guard and BP, local police are still prohibiting photography. They say BP directed them to do it.
"The Louisiana judge who struck down the Obama administration's six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has reported extensive investments in the oil and gas industry, according to financial disclosure reports. He's also a new member of a secret national security court."
As drought blankets much of the western U.S. and Canada, so do grasshoppers, Mormon crickets, and other associated bugs. The cyclical insect infestations, which are occurring in pockets in every state west of the Mississippi and in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, range from light to very severe.
"The oil industry and Louisiana officials support a lawsuit challenging the [offshore drilling] restrictions, saying they will cause more economic pain for gulf states already reeling from the spill fallout." A judge could rule in the case today.
A wildfire near Flagstaff, Arizona, has reached 10,000 acres in size and is threatening hundreds of homes.
"PORT SULPHUR, LA. -- It sounds like a bottomless gusher of money: a $20 billion fund to help make Gulf Coast residents and businesses whole. But here in the bayou, where rich oyster beds have provided livelihoods to many and brought wealth to a few, people worry just how far BP's handouts will go."
"A key Democratic lawmaker revealed an internal BP document on Sunday showing that the embattled oil giant's worst-case scenario projected that 100,000 barrels of oil could be released each day that the well remains uncapped." BP denied underestimating the spill.
The failure of a key device on the blowout preventer was one of many factors leading to the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill. Documents and inquiries have shed light on the chain of events leading up to this failure. A New York Times investigation reveals the chasm between oil-industry assertions about blowout-preventer reliability and the actual facts -- as well as a gap between the Obama administration's efforts to reform drilling regulation and its actual performance.