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Feds halt new drilling in Gulf

Feds halt new drilling in GulfThe Obama administration is blocking all new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, a day after regulators approved a new permit for drilling in shallow water.

The Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling, says in an e-mail from its Gulf Coast office that "until further notice" no new drilling is being allowed in the Gulf, "no matter the water depth." A copy of the e-mail was obtained by The Associated Press.

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Evidence of Undersea Oil Plumes

Evidence of undersea plumesTony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, claimed recently that his company’s testing has shown “no evidence” that any of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico is lurking beneath the ocean surface.

Oil is lighter than water, Mr. Hayward explained, and will rise to the top.

Apparently, Mr. Hayward is not familiar with the results of a test conducted in Norway, in which his company took part, that suggested exactly the opposite would happen when oil was released in very deep water. A demand has come from Congress that Mr. Hayward explain himself.

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Scientists warn of unseen deepwater oil disaster

Scientists warn of unseen deepwater oil disasterIndependent scientists and government officials say there's a disaster we can't see in the Gulf of Mexico's mysterious depths, the ruin of a world inhabited by enormous sperm whales and tiny, invisible plankton.

Researchers have said they have found at least two massive underwater plumes of what appears to be oil, each hundreds of feet deep and stretching for miles. Yet the chief executive of BP PLC - which has for weeks downplayed everything from the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf to the environmental impact - said there is "no evidence" that huge amounts of oil are suspended undersea.

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Radioactive fish near Vt. nuke plant deemed common

Operators of the troubled 38-year-old nuclear plant on the banks of the river, where work is under way to clean up leaking radioactive tritium, revealed this month that it also found soil contaminated with strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer and leukemia.

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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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