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Tagged with Gulf of Mexico oil spill

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Leadership lessons in the Gulf

BP’s Drilling Disaster is quickly unfolding to become one of the world’s worst ever environmental catastrophes. Credible sources already are saying that the volume of oil gushing into the Gulf exceeds the Exxon Valdez, and shockingly, there is no end in sight. As oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, as fisherman watch their stocks die, as beaches become tar-filled messes, we will hear a lot about the need to learn lessons. The oil industry has already started to push their predictable spin that although “mistakes were made”, they’ll learn what needs to be learned to ensure that …

Read more: Politics

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The Cost of the Oil Spill

A teachable moment

The Cape Wind project just approved for the waters offshore of Massachusetts will pump $1 billion into the local economy and create clean, reliable wind energy for decades. The BP oil rig in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico is spewing millions of gallons of petroleum toward the coastlines of four states, incurring $6 million per day in cleanup costs and estimated to top $3 billion before it's all over, not counting fines or damage claims from communities and the fishing industry. Could there be any more dramatic examples this week of our choices as we invent and invest …

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Cough, baby, cough

Burning oil sends heavy vapor toward Gulf residents

The EPA is warning that Gulf Coast residents are at risk of headaches, nausea, and other ill health effects; the culprit is air pollution from the oil burns that response teams are conducting to try to keep the big slick away from coastlines. "The BP Oil Spill in the Gulf could cause an odor similar to that of a gas station for communities along the affected coast," warns the site the EPA set up on the disaster: Is the odor bad for my health? This odor may cause symptoms such as headaches or nausea. For your own comfort, limit your …

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Spray it forward

What are we dumping into the Gulf to ‘fix’ the oil spill?

A 2006 oil-dispersant-spraying test run by the Air Force Reserve Command’s 910th Airlift Wing, currently deployed to the Gulf to support the oil spill recovery effort. (U.S. Air Force file photo) In addition to the indignity of oil oozing into its depths at a rate of at least 5,000 barrels per day, the Gulf of Mexico is now enduring a heavy rain of mystery chemicals. BP and the U.S. Coast Guard are dumping large amounts of "dispersants" both on the surface and underwater, in a desperate attempt to control the ongoing spill. Dispersants are surfactants, not unlike what you use …

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The Scene in Louisiana: Disaster Looming

I’m in Venice, LA today, near where the leading edge of the Gulf Coast oil spill has started to ooze ashore. Despite the sense of looming disaster you get from talking to people here, there are at least two groups seeing an uptick in business: The staff at the bar & restaurant at the Venice Marina, packed with reporters here to cover the spill. The pack of friendly dogs roaming the deck in search of scraps. But the dogs are much happier than the people – they don’t know the boom will be short-lived. While the oil remains just offshore …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Beyond Petroleum

My friend Dean was mostly drunk rowing his raft down the Grand Canyon. He was also naked most of the time, except for a piece of climbing webbing around his waist, ostensibly to help him if the raft flipped. As he headed into the huge rapids of the Inner Gorge, Dean used to cackle and yell out: “I think I can make it!”   He was, of course, quoting Joseph Hazelwood, the captain of the Exxon Valdez.  I wonder if BP’s approach to this spill is going be a hybrid of Hazelwood’s and Dean’s: hoping for the best, but knowing …

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Waterkeepers question use of dispersant chemicals at oil-spewing wellhead

The chief executive of BP says crews have been able to reduce the amount of oil reaching the Gulf's surface from a massive underwater leak by using chemicals at the gusher's source -- but environmental advocates are raising questions about the plan's safety. "We are adamantly opposed to dispersants being used at the well-head as we believe it adds more toxins and less value to the clean up process," says Mobile Baykeeper Casi Callaway. "Certain dispersants may be useful at the shore/grassbed line, but we can't endorse this action until we know what specific dispersants are to be used!" Speaking …

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Keep on truckin'

What are conservatives saying about the Gulf oil disaster?

The ongoing oil eruption off the Gulf Coast is shaping up to be one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. It's now clear that BP had no credible plan in place to deal with a spill of this magnitude at this depth. They thought it couldn't happen and now they don't know how to fix it. Up to 25,000 barrels a day are pouring into Gulf waters and could do so for months if not capped. Satellite images show that the slick has tripled in size over the past two days. If it can't be controlled, the oil …

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What a Difference a Spill Makes

There are so many questions the spill in the Gulf now raises. What will be the impact on offshore drilling -- which has been one of the few growth sectors of US domestic oil production? What kind of political backlash will it produce? Already President Obama and the administration are in damage control mode. How can we reasonably assess and digest the risk that this kind of energy production brings with it? After all, there is risk in the mines as we've painfully seen. There is risk in the air when we fly. There is risk crossing the street. It's …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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don't waste this crisis

Wake up, Obama. The Gulf spill is our big chance

President Barack Obama so far has said nothing about the screamingly obvious connection between the spoils of fossil-fuel dependency and the vision of a clean-energy economy that he's been sporadically promoting. Instead he had this tepid statement on the Gulf oil spill Friday morning: "I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security." What happened to never letting a crisis go to waste? This mother of a crisis runs straight into our fossil-fuel addiction. It's a prime opportunity for progressives and clean-energy advocates to demonstrate the desperate need for new …