Today’s essential reads
Natural gas extraction may harm the environment more than mining coal does, a recent Cornell study published in the May 2011 issue of Climate Change Letters argued.
BP OIL SPILL:
At a recent hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., called the BP oil spill the largest in American history, a commonplace description of an event that President Barack Obama has called “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.”
BP plc (NYSE: BP) was forced by the US government to set up a $20 billion claims facility to cover costs from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The money was meant to make businesses and individuals whole who were affected by the catastrophe. A year after the accident, only $3.8 billion, or 19%, has been paid out. Not much more money may be handed out if evaluations of the spill’s impact are accurate.
The 30,000 or so Vietnamese-Americans living along the Gulf Coast, many of whom have few resources outside of their boats and bare hands, know about life at the mercy of nature. But a year ago this week, they began learning a far more frustrating kind of vulnerability: put out of work by an energy giant, they turned for help to a claims system that many found to be opaque and unresponsive.
Cameron International Corp. (CAM) said the Deepwater Horizon explosion wasn’t its fault because oil and gas were already surging toward the rig when workers tried to activate blowout-prevention equipment the company made.
Your guide to the worst oil spill in US history, one year later.
JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS:
The bid to restore safe conditions to the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant has been hampered by a discovery of searing heat, it has emerged.