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How to Reduce Your Oil Footprint

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A few simple ways to effect change.

In the wake of last week's catastrophic oil spill, still growing in the Gulf of Mexico, many people are feeling helpless as to what they can do in their personal lives to stop supporting offshore oil drilling and the use of oil in general. Fortunately, our everyday lifestyle and purchasing decisions matter. We as individuals have the power to help reduce our country's reliance on oil,......read more

Obama Orders Freeze on Offshore Drilling

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President concedes neither oil companies nor government were prepared for worst-case scenario.

In Washington on Thursday, President Obama addressed widening public anger over the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, ordering a moratorium on offshore drilling in U.S. waters. The announcement reverses a previous decision to expand offshore drilling off American coastlines. At the White House press conference, the President also said there was too much complacency in goverment prior......read more

Obama Issues New Offshore Drilling Ban

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But will the latest moratorium survive?

In Washington Monday, the Obama administration took another stab at halting offshore drilling in U.S. waters, announcing a six-month moratorium that's no longer based on water depth. The goverment's previous two moratorium orders were rejected by the courts. Echoing the sentiments of environmentalists, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar argued that the order is necessary because of......read more

U.S. Strengthens Offshore Drilling Laws

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New measures aim to improve worker and environmental safety.

NPR reports that the Obama administration released a new set of rules for offshore drilling operators that create tougher requirements for well design, cementing practices, blowout preventers, and employee training. In effect, the rules will improve the safety of drilling operators and lessen the chance of another disaster like the one in the Gulf. With the federal ban on offshore drilling in......read more

SHFT Sampler 11-12-10

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Weekly links: Pimped-out bikes, phone book sculptures, and a renewed push for offshore drilling in the Arctic.

Freewheelers is a series of video portraits of tricked-out bikes and the people who ride them – from self-build fixies and coveted vintage steeds to bikes as art or manifestations of style. Two bipartisan senators have proposed a sensible idea that most people are going to hate. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) wrote to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal......read more

SHFT Sampler 12-3-10

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Weekly links: Obama nixes offshore plans, mercury turns birds gay, and more.

Adorbs alert! Discovery assembled an "awwww"-inspiring slide show of endangered baby animals. Are fixies over? We have no idea, but this bamboo joint from Germany's Arndt Menke-Zumbragel tells us no. Lance Armstrong is down too. The world's most famous cyclist called it a "killer wooden bike" on his Twitter. Can't disagree. Check out those rear forks! ......read more

Deep Water Drilling Set to Resume

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Federal announcement ends offshore drilling moratorium.

Oil and gas exploration has been suspended in the Gulf since May, one month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore oil spill in American history. In a few weeks, drilling and exploration will resume. The Obama administration will allow 13 companies to resume their work on 16 different offshore projects that had already been approved and were in......read more

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

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