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Nature and Environment

What’s Changed About Deepwater Drilling Since Macondo? Not a Lot.

April 20th at 9:50 pm central time marked the exact time that BP’s deepwater well named Macondo blew out, killing eleven workers, destroying Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon, and putting 5 million barrels of oil into the water 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.  Most of the world has moved on since then, […]

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Arrest of BP Engineer Exposes the Smoking Gun?

Today, the Justice Department arrested a former BP engineer on two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying hundreds of text messages that included details of flow rate calculations of their blown out Macondo well in the days immediately following the Gulf disaster on April 20, 2010, just over two years ago. The engineer, […]

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The Fight for Equality from MLK to Occupy Wall Street

When it comes to tangibly honoring great Americans, Washington tends to drag its collective feet, usually decades, before making room along the Mall for a tribute. The notable exception is the Viet Nam war memorial that was completed a mere 7 years after the war ended; the impetus to build it so quickly was the […]

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Preliminary Deepwater Horizon Report Rips Transocean, Marshall Islands

(April 23rd) Late yesterday, the Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation board issued a preliminary report of its findings related to causes of the Macondo well disaster that come under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard.  This report focused only on the vessel, its condition, and the actions of the crew that caused the explosions and loss […]

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Transocean Execs Shamed into Donating Safety Bonuses, Keep the Rest

You’ve probably heard by now that Transocean announced last week that 2010 was its “best year for safety performance” based on incident rate statistics even though their offshore rig, the Deepwater Horizon, burned down and sank during the largest blowout and oilspill in the history of the US. Eleven workers were killed in the disaster, […]

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More Bad News: BOEMRE Halts Floating Facility Startup Due to Equipment Failure

Brazilian producer Petrobras announced yesterday that the BOEMRE ordered a halt to the startup of its Chinook/Cascade deepwater floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) facility that had just been permitted a few weeks ago.  The halt was ordered due to the failure of a buoyancy can that supports the free standing risers that bring oil […]

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Back to Square One? BOP Investigator Admits to Key Error in Report

Yesterday, under intense questioning from the attorney for blowout preventer (BOP) manufacturer Cameron International, the project manager for Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the company who led the investigation of the BOP, admitted an error in the computer model they used to determine the cause of failure of the BOP during the BP well blowout last […]

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Good for Rachel…She’s Staying After the Deepwater Horizon BOP Story

Tonight, Rachel Maddow stayed after the story in which I played a small part last night…that subsea blowout preventers (BOPs) cannot reliably contain deepwater blowouts.  Apparently, the Department of Interior is unhappy with her coverage of this story, but I believe she is correct in shining a bright light on this issue.  Currently, the US […]

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Tests on BP Well Blowout Preventer Confirm Redesign a Necessity

Yesterday, the Department of Interior released Det Norske Veritas’ (DNV) report on the forensic testing that it conducted on the blowout preventer (BOP) that failed to shut in BP’s blown out Macondo well almost a year ago.  I’m still going through the 500-plus page report to find answers to my many questions about the failed […]

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Using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is Not the Answer to High Prices

All the buzz yesterday on the talk shows (besides Michele Bachmann repeating her talking point dozens of times on Meet the Press rather than actually answering questions) was tapping the Strategic Oil Reserve to somehow lower gasoline prices.  To even suggest such a move is not only a bad idea and bad policy, it won’t […]

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