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Tuesday, May 26th

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Gulf spill sickness wrecking lives

Gulf spill still wrecking lives

Nearly a year after the oil disaster began, Gulf Coast residents are sick, and dying from BP's toxic chemicals.

BP's oil disaster last summer gushed at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest accidental marine oil spill in history - and the largest environmental disaster in US history. Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons toxic dispersants, including one chemical that has been banned in the UK.

According to chemist Bob Naman, these chemicals create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.

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Former Bush EPA Official Says Fracking Exemption Went Too Far; Congress Should Revisit

Benjamin Grumble: Fracking exemptions went too farWhen Benjamin Grumbles was assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush administration, he oversaw the release of a 2004 EPA report that determined that hydraulic fracturing was safe for drinking water.

Then he watched as Congress used those findings to bolster the case for passing a law that prohibited the EPA from regulating fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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Erin Brockovich Back in Hinkley Testing Water

Erin BrockavichAt the end of "Erin Brockovich," a housewife sick from toxic chromium weeps with joy as she's handed her portion of a historic $333 million settlement between residents of this small desert town and the utility that poisoned their drinking water.

In real life, that woman is Roberta Walker. She still lives in Hinkley, using her share to buy a new home in what she thought would be a safe four-mile distance from the toxic plume of chromium.

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Judge won't force Exxon to pay for more Valdez spill cleanup

Exxon Valdez oil spillU.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland ruled Monday against a request that he force Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay for the cleanup of oil left on the Prince William Sound shoreline from the 1989 tanker Valdez spill.

The request came from former University of Alaska marine science professor Rick Steiner, who filed a court motion to try and force resolution of the case. Steiner said he was frustrated because the state and federal governments filed a $92 million claim against Exxon in 2006 but never tried to collect the money.

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Biology Nobelist: Natural selection will destroy us

Christian de DuvThe cost of our success is the exhaustion of natural resources, leading to energy crises, climate change, pollution and the destruction of our habitat. If you exhaust natural resources there will be nothing left for your children. If we continue in the same direction, humankind is headed for some frightful ordeals, if not extinction.

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BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims

Ken FeinbergUpwards of 100,000 claims arising from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may never be paid, the beleaguered administrator of the oil company's compensation fund has acknowledged.

A defensive Ken Feinberg, under fire from the Obama administration, Gulf leaders and local business for the slow pace of payouts for losses due to the BP spill, said the vast majority of the 130,000 unsettled claims did not have adequate documentation.

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Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers

Wells for extracting natural gasThe American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and thousands of drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush — for natural gas.

The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles, like frozen spills of seltzer water between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for heating buildings, generating electricity and powering vehicles for up to a hundred years.

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