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Thursday, Jun 30th

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Oil rig blowout preventers known to fail

Blowout preventers known to failCutoff valves like the one that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster have repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since federal regulators weakened testing requirements, according to an Associated Press investigation.

These steel monsters known as blowout preventers or BOPs — sometimes as big as a double-decker bus and weighing up to 640,000 pounds — guard the mouth of wells. They act as the last defense to choke off unintended releases, slamming a gushing pipe with up to 1 million pounds of force.

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Since spill, feds have given 27 waivers to oil companies in gulf

Since spill, feds have given 27 waivers to oil companies in gulfSince the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.

The waivers were granted despite President Barack Obama’s vow that his administration would launch a “relentless response effort” to stop the leak and prevent more damage to the gulf. One of them was dated Friday — the day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was temporarily halting offshore drilling.

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Report adds to doubts about key oil rig safety equipment

Boaters make their way along the edge of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.As offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere boomed, a 2003 report warned that the industry wasn't taking time to find and fix the problems that commonly plagued blowout preventers — the supposedly failsafe mechanisms designed to stop oil spills such as the one now threatening the gulf coast.

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BP warned of rig fault ten years ago

BPIn June 2000, the oil giant issued a "notice of default" to Transocean, the operator of the rig that blew up last month. The dispute was over problems with a blowout preventer, a set of iron slabs that should close out-of-control wells. It failed on the Gulf of Mexico rig, triggering the explosion and oil spill.

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US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015

Surplus oil production capacity could disappear by 2012The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.

The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.

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End suppression of new energy inventions

It would be helpful for the U.S. Government to end its decades long, viciously thorough suppression of new energy inventions. For example, to protect oil and power companies, the U.S. Patent Office has unfairly classified secret 5000 energy patents.

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US Air Force biofuel flight test a success

The U.S. Air Force’s initial test of a 50 percent Camelina biofuel in an A-10 Thunderbolt II was successful, an aviation milestone as a military or civilian aircraft had not been flown until now using a biofuels blend in all engines, according to the agency.

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