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The Environment / Oil Spills

  • BP May Owe Anglers $585 Million After Oil Spill

    People who fish recreationally in the Gulf of Mexico may be entitled to up $585 million in compensation due to lost fishing opportunities following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.A new analysis is the first to estimate recreational fishing losses following such a large disaster.In the case of the BP spill, the money wouldn’t go back to individual anglers, but instead might fund ecosystem improvements or to stock more fish in the Gulf.After a disaster such as an oil spill, trustees—who could include federal, state, or tribal authorities—often attempt to secure financial compensation from those responsible.In December 2012, BP agreed…

  • Economic Benefits From Oil Spills? Canadian Company Thinks So

    Kinder Morgan’s (NYSE:KMI) assertion that oil spills could bring economic benefits is triggering heated reactions.The company’s statement, part of its $5.4 billion proposal to the federal government submitted Tuesday, also acknowledges a spill could have negative consequences for the environment and nearby communities. However, in the 15,000-page document, the company insists that a risk assessment and 60-year history operating the existing pipeline has shown “the probability of a large pipeline spill is low.”Sierra Club campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon, said in a statement that Kinder’s view on oil spill is “an outrageous insult” to British Columbians."While marketing professionals might find lucrative…

  • North Dakota in Spotlight after Oil Spill

    Oil production in North Dakota reached an all-time high in August. As of 2011, the U.S. Energy Department said the state was the fourth largest in the union in terms of oil production and North Dakota's oil accounted for 7 percent of the U.S. total, a 35 percent increase from the previous year. The state's Department of Mineral Resources said most of that crude oil would be able to make it to regional refineries so long as rail deliveries continue on their current trajectory. Scrutiny over crude oil deliveries by rail and the first major pipeline spill in the state,…

  • North Dakota Farmer Stumbles on Massive Oil Leak

    A farming harvesting his fields in North Dakota has come across a massive oil spill, undetected long enough to become the size of seven football fields. Local media reports cite farmer Steve Jensen as saying the crude appeared to becoming from a rupture in an underground pipeline operated by Tesoro Corp.The farmer noted that he had smelled the crude for days but it wasn’t until he began harvesting his wheat fields that he discovered the source of the smell, as his combine got caught up in crude spewing up to six inches above the ground.   Related article: How Our…

  • Ecuador vs Chevron Case Gets Down and Dirty

    The record $19 billion fine levied against Chevron Corporation by a court in Ecuador for contaminating the Amazon rainforest takes a new twist as a New York court hears a case of fraud against the high-profile lawyer who helped Ecuador win its 2011 judgment.  In a legal battle that has continued for two decades, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was led by New York lawyer Steven R. Donziger, who is now the target of another lawsuit alleging misconduct and fraud. Donziger was allegedly caught on video on the sidelines of filming for the documentary film “Crude” conceding that evidence…

  • Halliburton Plead Guilty to Destruction of Evidence in 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

    On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that Halliburton had agreed to plead guilty to criminally destroying evidence in the investigation of the BP Gulf oil spill in 2010. The company “signed a cooperation and guilty plea agreement,” will pay the maximum fine of $200,000, and undergo three years of probation. It also had already made a $55 million voluntary contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Halliburton was the oil services company that oversaw the cement pouring while the Macondo well was drilled. The well malfunctioned on April 20, 2010, causing an uncontrolled blowout on the Deepwater Horizon…

  • Rig Fire Exposes Lingering Dangers of Offshore Drilling

    A U.S. energy safety bureau said part of a drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana has partially collapsed after catching fire late Tuesday.  No injuries were reported when a natural gas cloud ignited at the Hercules Offshore drilling rig. At least three firefighting vessels were on scene responding to the incident in a scene reminiscent of the 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Though no sheen was reported during initial surveys, federal officials said it was time the industry takes offshore safety seriously.  The Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement was able to confirm an…

  • Rail v. Pipelines: No Safe Bet for Oil

    The Canadian government said it was committed to a safe rail transit network following a weekend derailment in a Quebec town near the border with Maine. At least five people were killed Saturday when a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota slipped the track and exploded in Lac-Megantic. The federal government said it was in charge of the investigation, though it was unclear what initially led to the incident. Oil deliveries by rail have increased along with North American crude oil production. In a tit-for-tat season of pipeline and rail incidents, it's becoming clear there are no clear-cut winners…

  • New Material Cleans Oil at Faster Rate, Allows Oil to be Collected and Reused

    Big oil spills are an environmental and public health disaster – not to mention an economic one. The last big oil spill, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill resulted in millions of gallons of oil spilling into the sea – a nightmare to clean up.While big oil spills are a cause of concern and often spur an indignant cry from the global community, everyday, little oil spills are occurring in our waters. Along our coastlines, harbors and ports, as oil is transported from one place to another, amounts of it are spilled.According to Vadim Manov, around 18,000 to 24,000 of these…

  • Are Pipeline Spills a Foregone Conclusion?

    Exxon Mobil hasn't asked federal regulatory authorities to restart the Pegasus oil pipeline, which burst open in a neighborhood in Mayflower, Ark.  In March, a 22-foot rupture in the pipeline spilled about 5,000 barrels of diluted Canadian crude oil into an area of marshland, though the company said it's been effectively cleaning the area with long-term remediation in mind. Policymakers on both sides of the Canadian crude oil debate have focused on issues ranging from emissions to economic stimulus. If pipelines like Keystone XL have any chance of approval, perhaps pipeline integrity should be the focal point of real policy…