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Obama administration blocked efforts to stop BP oil drilling before explosion

BPIn 2009, the Obama administration intervened to support the reversal of a court order that would have halted offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has long had close ties to the industry, specifically cited BP’s Deepwater Horizon operation as one that should be allowed to go forward, according to a group involved in the court case.

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Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of Rig

Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of RigInternal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far earlier than those the company described to Congress last week.

The problems involved the well casing and the blowout preventer, which are considered critical pieces in the chain of events that led to the disaster on the rig.

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Nigeria's agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it

A ruptured pipeline burns in a Lagos suburb after an explosion in 2008 which killed at least 100 people.In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta's network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP's Deepwater Horizon rig last month.

That disaster, which claimed the lives of 11 rig workers, has made headlines round the world. By contrast, little information has emerged about the damage inflicted on the Niger delta. Yet the destruction there provides us with a far more accurate picture of the price we have to pay for drilling oil today.

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Rig's manager says BP tried to skip test, changed drilling plan

Rig's manager says BP tried to skip test, changed drilling planThe Transocean manager of the doomed Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig told a board of inquiry on Thursday that BP officials aboard the rig wanted to skip required pressure tests and tried to impose a drilling plan sent from BP's Houston headquarters that had not been approved by the federal government's Minerals Management Service.

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Gulf well 'shouted' warnings for hours before BP rig explosion

Gulf well 'shouted' warnings for hours before BP rig explosionThe crew of the Deepwater Horizon had a number of warning signs extending over five hours that conditions were worsening deep underwater before the oilrig exploded in the Gulf on April 20, BP's own investigators told a House inquiry into the cause of the deadly accident.

Details of BP's internal investigation provide fresh information about the extent of failures on the ill-fated rig, but the oil company's inquiry skirts the central question: why were those warnings ignored?

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Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change

Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears, a new study has concluded. The research is the first to directly model how changing climate will affect polar bear reproduction and survival.

Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behaviour and ecology, it predicts pregnancy rates will fall and fewer bears will survive fasting during longer ice-free seasons.

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BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant

Reporting from Los Angeles and Elmer’s

BP has rebuffed demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil from its massive offshore spill, saying that the chemical product it is now using continues to be "the best option for subsea application."

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