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The Issue with Salvaged Oil

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Dot Earth asks why oil salvaged from the spill is going to BP instead of U.S. reserves.

It's not clear exactly how much oil is being salvaged from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico or the seabed gusher below, but for the moment, BP officials are saying the collected crude belongs to the company. On Andy Revkin's always thought-provoking Dot Earth blog, the NY Times writer and eco-thinker poses an excellent question: Why is salvaged oil going to BP instead of U.S. reserves?......read more

Bhopal and the BP Oil Blowout

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What the worst industrial disaster in history can teach us about the BP oil spill.

In 1984, a small town in India experienced the deadliest environmental disaster in history, when an explosion at a Union Carbide chemical factory in Bhopal sent 27 tons of methyl isocyanate gas into the slums. 22,000 people died as a result. Twenty-six years later, locals are still affected by birth defects and disease. On Monday, Indian courts sentenced eight Union Carbide officials – all from......read more

Naomi Klein on the Oil Spill

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Author/activist discusses the ravages wrought by the disaster in the Gulf.

The formidable PR machines behind BP and the Obama administration are in full swing, assuring us that ravaged Gulf coast ecosystem with be "restored and made whole." Amid all the positive spin, social activist and bestselling author Naomi Klein wonders how that is remotely possible: "It all sounded great. But for people whose livelihoods put them in intimate contact with the......read more

SHFT Sampler 6-24-10

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Your weekly assemblage of links from around the web.

Visualizing the spill: From our friends at GOOD, an animated simulation of a 25,000-barrel oil spill — less than half the estimated daily amount gushing into the Gulf. Dropping the ball: A scathing account of the U.S. Interior Department's handling of the offshore oil industry. Oh phew, at least there's that: Oil-Splattered BP Promises Uninterrupted Flow of Art Funding. The type of......read more

SHFT Sampler 7-1-10

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Essential links for your Memorial Day weekend.

The EU, which says it will meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, gets set to switch on solar power in the Sahara Desert. Vertical agriculture takes off: 11 "farmscrapers" that build on the success of living walls and mobile gardens. A fake oil spill was staged at the Tate in London, as BP protestors railed against the unholy alliance between oil companies and......read more

Will the New Cap Work?

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BP installs new cap that it hopes will capture the crude leaking into the Gulf.

BP has successfully installed a new tighter fitting cap on the gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (watch a video here). The next step is a a pressure test, which will determine if they can effectively stop the oil from flowing for the first time since the well exploded almost three months ago. Scientists are hoping to see pressure increase and then stabilize, meaning that the cap is working......read more

Oil Leak Plugged (Maybe)

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BP says it has successfully halted the gusher in the Gulf.

BP representatives say that the unabated flow of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has been stopped -- for now. The cap mounted on the blown well earlier this week appears to have successfully halted the leak. Don't get too excited, though. The cap is just one critical step toward permanently sealing the well. The company still has to perform a number of integrity tests to ensure the......read more

Well Cap is Holding, says BP

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Company officials are cautiously optimistic after three days of encouraging test results.

Three days after BP installed a cap on the blown well in the Gulf -- and nearly three months after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sunk -- the company said Sunday it will remain in place until the well is permanently closed. So is this officially the end of the gusher? Hard to say, given the garbled, cryptic announcement from BP. "Right now there is no target set to open the well......read more

The Spill and the American Psyche

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The leak is plugged. But is it too late to restore public confidence?

In the Gulf of Mexico, where tens of millions of barrels of oil have spewed into the sea, a ray of hope has come in the shape of a cap fitted onto the blown wellhead. The successful attempt to stop the gusher marks the end of nearly three months of futility. Around America, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief. Almost. In the Week in Review in Sunday's New York Times, Peter......read more

What Now?

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As the Gulf disaster abates, scientists ponder the future of a ravaged ecosystem.

With the cap on the blown well holding, BP and its team are preparing to permanently seal it with mud and cement early this week. Meanwhile, the oil slick on the water surface is receding quickly, and the company says it will start scaling back cleanup efforts in the area. And so an environmental catastrophe begins to fade away. But what does the future hold for the ravaged ecosystems in the......read more

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