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Faces from the Gulf Coast, one year after the BP disaster

It's now been a year since the BP gusher started gushing. The leak was plugged up, but the mess isn't gone. Meet some of the people whose lives have been turned upside-down by the BP disaster. Photos and audio came out of a collaboration between the Natural Resources Defense Council, StoryCorps, and Bridge the Gulf. Hollie and Chad LeJeune Photo: Cary Conover "It was like grieving for a death. You guys had worked so hard and had built this wonderful business, and then in six weeks time -- it was gone." Watch an audio slideshow of Chad LeJeune talking with …

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Fossil fuel industries kill and injure an awful lot of their workers

Oil production and oil refining has killed 77 workers and injured over 7,000 in the last 40 years.Cross-posted from the Center for American Progress. This post was coauthored by Valeri Vasquez, special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress. On the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and the Massey coal mine explosion in West Virginia, we are reminded how dangerous our dependence on fossil fuels can be. A large cost of our reliance on these energy sources is the death or injury of workers in these industries. Transitioning to cleaner energy technologies such …

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10 reasons to still be pissed off about the BP disaster

BP is gunning to get back to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. When the Department of Interior issued its first deepwater permit since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it was for a well that BP owns half of. Earlier this month, company officials also announced that they are seeking an agreement with the U.S. government to resume drilling at their 10 deepwater wells in the Gulf this July, arguing that they will follow tougher safety rules, The New York Times reported earlier this month. This comes even as the government is said to be considering manslaughter charges against the oil giant for the deaths of 11 workers …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Rachel Maddow helps us all feel more informed, terrified about deepwater drilling

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Here's Rachel Maddow last week, having a conversation with an anthropomorphic personification of human malevolence known as Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement director Michael Bromwich. (Seriously, the dude is grim. Does the Bureau not have a magical nonthreatening pansexual spokesthing they can send out to talk to the media?) Bromwich had some scary things to say about the recently-rekindled deepwater permitting process. Among other things, he doesn't know nor apparently particularly care why drilling in U.S. waters has such a relatively high fatality rate. …

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Power Shift 2011: Rebuilding the Gulf from the BP oilpocalypse

BP got a big tax refund for cleaning up its own mess.Cross-posted from the Wonk Room. More than 100 youth and community members from the Gulf Coast are travelling to Washington D.C. on Friday for Power Shift 2011 to deliver a unified message: The BP oil disaster is not over. One year after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, sending 11 men to a fiery grave, BP's crude and dispersants are still impacting the Gulf and its communities. Entire cultures and livelihoods are in peril, there is a growing health crisis, and BP's oil disaster is accelerating damage to the fragile coastal …

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Are the Kochs to blame for gas prices?

Remember when we said that, despite an upcoming Republican onslaught of not-intended-to-be-factual statements, Obama is not to blame for high gas prices? Well, guess who is? Maybe Koch Industries, according to ThinkProgress. Koch Industries has openly speculated in "contango" oil market manipulation, buying up crude oil and storing it offshore to artificially drive down supply. In 2008, Fortune magazine wrote that this sneaky business could be raising gas prices by "by anywhere from 20 to 40 cents a gallon." Classic Koch. ThinkProgress doesn't offer any evidence that a Koch binge is the reason behind our current oil prices. There's so …

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First tar-sands mine approved in U.S.

They're on their way.Photo: ShellThe Canadian tar-sands industry is invading the United States. Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources has won all necessary permits to excavate tar-sands oil from a 62-acre site in Uintah County, Utah. And that's just the start. Earth Energy has 7,800 acres of Utah state land under lease and plans to acquire more. The company estimates that its holdings contain more than 250 million barrels of recoverable oil. Over the past decade, Canada has become the world's largest exploiter of tar sands, paying a high environmental cost to extract and convert its heavy oil, known as bitumen, into usable forms. The tar-sands boom …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Oil

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Get ready for GOP baloney on gas prices

Politico is reporting this morning that House Republicans are gearing up to blame high gas prices on Obama. His offshore drilling moratorium, they say, is to blame for pump costs rocketing towards $5 a gallon. The GOP hasn't specified yet whether this is not intended to be a factual statement, but: This is not a factual statement. FactCheck.org got out ahead of the noise machine three weeks ago. Tank up on these fast facts so you can spank the congressional Republicans in your circle: Obama's deepwater drilling moratorium had zero effect on gas prices. Domestic oil production was up last …

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Are Canada’s disastrous tar sands coming your way?

Alberta's scenic tar sands.Photo: Suncor EnergyThis essay was originally published on TomDispatch and is republished here with Tom's kind permission. For years, "not in my backyard" has been the battle cry of residents in Cape Cod who stand opposed to an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. The giant turbines will forever mar the beauty of the landscape, they say. Energy is ugly. Some forms more so than others, as nuclear near-meltdowns in Japan, the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and deaths in a West Virginia coal mine explosion have driven home in the last year. Energy kills …

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Why Congress will destroy America sooner than touch oil subsidies

In a far-reaching, data-driven, and damning feature for the Huffington Post, lead Washington correspondent Dan Froomkin explains why Obama has found it completely impossible to eliminate subsidies to oil companies. These subsidies amount to up to $90 billion over the next 10 years -- that's $90 billion that will be shouldered by every other taxpayer even as the oil and gas industry continues to chalk up record profits. Every time these enormous subsidies are at issue, the American Petroleum Institute argues that eliminating these tax breaks would threaten jobs. And yet the industry they represent has accrued a trillion dollars …