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Faulty Design Caused BP Disaster, Says Official Report

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Every blowout preventer may have the same problem. Gulp.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster was caused by a faulty design of the blowout preventer and a piece of trapped pipe, says an official report published by the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of the Interior. According to the 551-page report, "The primary cause of failure was identified as the blind shear rams failing to fully close and seal due to a portion of drill pipe trapped......read more

At the Energy Crossroads

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President Obama's original energy plan was thrown off the rails. Can his new strategy survive?

Nothing ever works out as planned. Just ask President Obama, who came into office equipped with an ambitious energy plan that addressed climate change and American dependence on foreign (read: Mideast) oil. Within two short years, a massive financial meltdown, an unprecedented offshore oil spill, and a GOP-controlled Congress has demolished that strategy, sending the administration back to the......read more

House Votes to Expand Offshore Drilling

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Is the risk worth the payoff?

With consumers feeling the pinch of rising gas prices at the pump, the House voted last week to expedite oil lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia. The bill was passed by a 266 to 149 vote, largely along party lines. Memories are indeed short. The Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 people and spewed about 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico,......read more

GOP Offshore Drilling Bill Rejected by Senate

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Dems block measure to to speed up oil leases off the U.S. coast

The Republican effort to expand offshore drilling in country has been turned down by the U.S. Senate. The bill would have opened up more areas to drilling and forced regulators to speed up their decisions on lease permits. The vote was 57 against and 42 for -- 18 short of the 60 "Yes" votes required to move it to the Senate floor. Democrats voted resoundingly against the bill, saying it would ......read more

The Clash's Paul Simonon Arrested for Oil Rig Occupation

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Rock star went undercover with Greenpeace to protest Arctic drilling

Greenpeace has revealed that veteran rock bassist (The Clash, Gorillaz) Paul Simonon was among the activists arrested in June for occupying an Arctic oil rig. Simonon had joined the Greenpeace crew anonymously, working as an assistant cook. The oil rig, operated by Cairn Energy, one of Europe's largest oil and gas companies, was boarded on June 3 by the Greenpeacers, who demanded that the......read more

Why Drilling in the Arctic is a Bad Idea

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The argument against pushing for fossil fuel extremes in Alaska

The Arctic Ocean is one of the wildest, most extreme places on earth. When you put the most technologically advanced, best equipped offshore drilling rig up against it, the rig loses. The grounding of a Shell Oil drilling rig in Alaska earlier this year proves it. That's the central tenet of a Natural Resources Defense Council statement, quoted by Andy Revkin at Dot Earth, arguing against any......read more

Fantastic Forest Photos

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See the forest for the trees. Traveling exhibition celebrates the International Year of Forests.

According to the United Nations, 2011 is the International Year of the Forests, which means, well, not much. It's always the Year of This or the Month of That. But we can't not get behind this one. Especially when it looks this good. GoodPlanet Foundation, chaired by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (the filmmaker behind the epic doc Home), is raising awareness of forest issues through, among other things,......read more

Feds to Fund Offshore Wind Farms

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Obama administration commits $50.5 million to offshore wind R&D.

Pursuant to the U.S. President's stated goal of generating 80% of all electricity from renewable sources, the Obama administration announced this week a game plan for wind energy development off the Eastern seaboard. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar paired up Monday to announce federal funding for offshore wind farms to the tune of $50.5 million over......read more

Green Development Hampered by Nimbyism

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Eco projects face opposition in progressive hotspots from Brooklyn to Berkeley.

If we were asked to name the top two strongholds of eco-consciousness in America, we'd probably say Brooklyn on the east coast and Berkeley on the west. Hell, we even gave Brooklyn it's own web series. But not everyone in these liberal bastions is down for the greater environmental good. When it comes to green development, self interest runs rampant. In Park Slope, Brooklyn, a new bike lane......read more

Cape Wind Project Approved

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Feds OK America's first offshore wind farm, a mere 10 years it was first presented.

Aaaannnd we're off! Ten years after the proposal was first submitted, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement has approved plans for the first American offshore wind farm.  In a landmark affirmation for renewable energy, the Feds pushed forward plans to build the 468 megawatt Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. In addition to providing renewable......read more

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