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February 28 2013


Shell Backs Off From Arctic Drilling

A series of accidents prompts the company to indicate that it is not yet ready to resume drilling operations in the region.

July 23 2012

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February 17 2012


October 26 2011


Arctic Predators, Caught in the Act

Motion-sensitive cameras record the behavior of predators in Arctic oilfields whose numbers have soared because of the free food and the housing afforded by development.

July 15 2011


BP to Adopt Voluntary Safety Standards in the Gulf of Mexico

A federal official welcomes BP's decision to go beyond minimum requirements but says that it will not affect the granting of drilling permits to the oil giant.

June 01 2011


May 23 2011


Heeding an Oil-Spill Lesson, 2 Agencies Team Up

From now on, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will draw on NOAA's expertise when making decisions on drilling permits.

May 05 2011


House Passes Bill to Speed Oil Drilling Leases

The bill would reinstate auctions for the right to drill offshore, which have been pushed back by the administration to allow more time for environmental and safety reviews.

April 22 2011


Gingrich Calls EPA “A Job Killing Regulatory Engine Of Higher Energy Prices”

In a meeting with Tea Party activists, former Republican Speaker of the House and potential 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was nothing more than “a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices.” Gingrich was discussing with the group the best way to go about lowering gas and heating oil prices for American consumers, both of which he blamed squarely on President Obama. He also pitched the idea that the United States needed to lift bans on unconventional oil extraction, ignoring the potential consequences of that particular fuel source.

This is not the first time that Gingrich has seized an opportunity to go after the EPA. Back in January, he told the Associated Press that, if president, he would completely abolish the agency. In its place, he would create a new organization that works with businesses to help draft “friendly” environmental policies. Gingrich went on to describe how he views the EPA: “What you have is a very expensive bureaucracy that across the board makes it harder to solve problems, slows down the development of new innovations.”
Gingrich has long fought against environmental protections, claiming that their only purpose is to hinder economic growth. In 2007, he co-authored the little-noticed “Contract With The Earth.” In that document, he declares that it is the God-given duty of mankind to help protect the environment. But rather than attacking the continued abuse of fossil fuels, as Salon points out, he claimed that the biggest hurdle facing meaningful environmental action are things like health and safety standards, taxes, and legislation.

While he’s not shy about paying lip service to our environmental challenges, he’s also working against every environmental protection instituted in the last few decades. His organization American Solutions launched the conservative “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” campaign back in 2008 when gas prices were spiking, in an effort to open up more areas of the country to oil drilling (even though supply and demand were never the problem, prices spiked due to Wall Street speculators). He has also declared that the Kyoto Protocol was bad for America and bad for the environment.

Gingrich is currently in 3rd place among potential Republican presidential candidates, according to the latest polls. And while he does his best to give the impression that he is concerned about our environment, the facts clearly refute his words.

April 20 2011


Obama Marks Anniversary of BP Disaster

The Deepwater Horizon drill rig exploded one year ago in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting oil spill has had lingering consequences.

April 14 2011


Bill to Speed Offshore Drilling Clears House Panel

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar suggests that Republicans are suffering from "amnesia" about last year's massive oil spill in advancing drilling legislation.

February 08 2011


Does a Drilling Boom Beckon?

Ensco's acquisition of Pride International creates a global behemoth, and stock shares of other oil drillers are rising in anticipation of an industrywide consolidation that will enable several companies to invest vast amounts of money in deepwater prospecting.

January 26 2011


Maine Governor Paul LePage To Roll Back Environmental Protections

Paul LePage, the freshly inaugurated Republican governor of Maine who once said that he'd like to tell President Obama to "go to Hell" and recently told the NAACP to "kiss my butt", has announced that he will be rolling back dozens of environmental protections in Maine to create a more “business-friendly” atmosphere. The governor’s office will be changing a minimum of 36 environmental laws in the upcoming months, with the possibility of more protections being scaled back as time goes on.

According to the Portland Press Herald, some of the proposed regulations include:
- Zoning 10 million acres of northern Maine for development.
- Repealing laws that require manufacturers to take back recyclable goods for disposal.
- Reversing a ban on the use of a chemical linked to cancer in children's products.
- Making Maine's environmental laws conform to less stringent federal standards. - Requiring a cost-benefit analysis for all rulemakings.
- Relaxing air emissions removal standards, especially for smaller projects.
- Replacing the BEP with a system of administrative judges who would hear appeals of state Department of Environmental Protection staff decisions.
- Allowing vertical building additions on sand dunes whether or not the entire building is on posts.
For those who followed LePage’s campaign last year, these new proposals come as no surprise. A Tea Party favorite (who frequently attended Tea Party rallies in his state,) LePage claimed on the campaign trail that “environmentalists have too much power” in Maine, and that he wanted environmental regulators to work with businesses rather than against them.

At a gathering in Yarmouth, Maine during his campaign, LePage described his vision of how state agencies would work under his control:

“Instead of having people going around enforcing the regulations, I would rather have customer-friendly state employees going out and helping you abide by the regulations. I don't mind tough regulations. I just dislike an adversarial attitude by our state.”

Other environmental issues that LePage talked about during his campaign included opening up the Gulf of Maine to offshore oil drilling, and allowing expanded drilling for coal and natural gas within the state.

Until recent years, the state of Maine was plagued with environmental atrocities. According to environmental attorney Bill Townsend:

“Our rivers stank. Pollution was rampant. People built dams where they damn pleased; people cut down forests where they damn pleased; people bulldozed the streams where they damn pleased…We've come a long way to get away to get away from that and I'm not willing to make a step one inch in the direction of going back to that.”

Environmental groups are prepared to challenge LePage’s current rollbacks, claiming that most of them are illegal. But don’t expect the governor to let his agenda be sidelined. He earned the nickname “LeRage” over the years due to his frequent violent outbursts against members of the press and others who oppose him, so we can expect any challenge to his proposals to be met with the same kind of fury.

January 19 2011


January 12 2011


January 10 2011


December 02 2010


How Much Untapped Oil Is There? The Answer Varies

The oil industry has protested a decision to reverse plans to allow drilling in the eastern gulf and along the Atlantic Seaboard, but it is uncertain how large the reserves actually are.

December 01 2010


U.S. Rescinds Expansion of Offshore Drilling

A moratorium will apply to the eastern gulf and the Atlantic seaboard for at least the next five years, an official says.

November 24 2010


Drilling Session Disappoints Landrieu

A Louisiana senator says a meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar failed to yield a clear path to the speedier granting of deepwater derilling permits.

November 19 2010

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