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BP accused of 'buying academic silence'

Bob Shipp said BP wanted to hire his entire marine science departmentThe head of the American Association of Professors has accused BP of trying to "buy" the best scientists and academics to help its defence against litigation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. "This is really one huge corporation trying to buy faculty silence in a comprehensive way," said Cary Nelson.

BP faces more than 300 lawsuits so far. In a statement, BP says it has hired more than a dozen national and local scientists "with expertise in the resources of the Gulf of Mexico".

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Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety; Feared Reprisals

Workers on doomed rig voiced safety concernsA confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon in the weeks before the oil rig exploded showed that many of them were concerned about safety practices and feared reprisals if they reported mistakes or other problems.

In the survey, commissioned by the rig’s owner, Transocean, workers said that company plans were not carried out properly and that they “often saw unsafe behaviors on the rig.”

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World's big energy users agree to steps on clean energy

World's big energy users agree to steps on clean energy As political agreements on clean energy remain elusive, the countries that use most of the world's energy launched steps Tuesday to get more clean energy into the global market, including moves toward TVs that waste less electricity, more cars that don't need gasoline, and buildings and factories that use power more efficiently.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the agreements at the first gathering of energy officials from countries that use 80 percent of global energy: the U.S., Russia, China, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, European countries, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.

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Before rig explosion, BP pumped chemical mixture into well, contractor says

washingtonpost.com  > Nation  > Green Before rig explosion, BP pumped chemical mixture into wellIn the hours before the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, BP pumped into the well an extraordinarily large quantity of an unusual chemical mixture, a contractor on the rig testified Monday.

The injection of the dense, gray fluid was meant to flush drilling mud from the hole, according to the testimony before a government panel investigating the April 20 accident. But the more than 400 barrels used were roughly double the usual quantity, said Leo Lindner, a drilling fluid specialist for contractor MI-Swaco.

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Photos show dramatic shrinking of Mount Everest glaciers

Photos show dramatic shrinking of Mount Everest glaciersThe two pictures show an "alarming" retreat in ice over more than 80 years. The first was taken in 1921 by British mountaineer George Mallory, who later died trying to conquer Everest.

The Asia Society commissioned the same picture to be taken of the main Rongbuk glacier on the northern slope of Mount Everest in Tibet in 2007. The new picture by mountaineer David Breashears show that the glacier is shrunk and withered.

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How Obama wants to protect oceans: White House unveils new plan

Obama wants to protect oceansThe White House Monday unveiled the nation's first national oceans policy, which intends to cut through a growing mish-mash of competing interests – from offshore drilling to fishing to shipping – and create a comprehensive, integrated stewardship approach toward oceans, coastal areas, and the Great Lakes.

To accomplish that, the new policy mandates no new federal rules but instead sets up a new National Ocean Council (NOC) made up of federal agencies, state, and regional groups. The goal is to have them work together to create a degree of unity in what has been a highly fragmented area of governance.

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Lessons from Exxon Valdez spill have gone unheeded

Lessons from Exxon Valdez spill have gone unheededThe story of the last cataclysmic American oil spill has evolved over time into a straightforward tale of cause and effect: In 1989, a hard-drinking skipper ran his tanker aground in Alaska, and Exxon was unable to prevent crude from spreading along hundreds of miles of pristine shoreline.

But the full story of the Exxon Valdez wreck is far more complex, and it offers striking parallels to today's events in the Gulf of Mexico -- including a central role played by a consortium led by British Petroleum, now known as BP.

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