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Director of federal drilling safety oversight in Gulf calls it quits

Chris Oynes, appointed during the Bush administration to oversee offshore energy oversight at the Mineral Management Service (MMS), has quit. “After 35 years of service,” an MMS employee told AFP, Oynes plans to announce his retirement soon, leaving behind a career forever tarnished by a photo of him presenting Transocean,…

AP: Feds severely neglected inspections of offshore drilling rigs

Government agency gave safety award to Deepwater Horizon rig in 2009 The federal agency responsible for ensuring that the Deepwater Horizon was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that the rig be inspected at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation…

US agency admits lax enforcement of oil drilling

A US official acknowledged Wednesday that the oil and gas industry largely polices its own drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico with little government supervision. At a hearing into the deadly rig explosion that led to a massive, growing oil spill, the Minerals Management Service official said the regulatory…

US officials create offshore drilling safety review board

US officials Monday unveiled the creation of a board to review offshore drilling safety and tighten oversight of oil equipment testing as a giant slick spread over the Gulf of Mexico. “We must continue to do everything we can to oversee and support BP’s efforts to stop and clean up…

Texas governor pans drilling safety regulations, suggests ‘God’ to blame for BP’s oil disaster

If the very Christian, very Republican governor of Texas is right on this one, he may soon find it politically expedient to rethink his allegiances, what with 2010 being an election year and all. That’s right: according to Republican Rick Perry, no amount of safety requirements can prevent an “act…

BP Had Other Problems in Years Leading to Gulf Spill

BP, the global oil giant responsible for the fast-spreading spill soon to make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, is no stranger to major accidents. In fact the company has found itself at the center of several of the nation’s worst oil and gas–related disasters in the last five years.…

Obama: Miners ‘died in pursuit of the American dream’

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama leads mourners Sunday at a memorial service for the 29 men killed this month in the worst US mining disaster in decades, saying they died in pursuit of the American dream. Obama will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden at the ceremony in…

To prove weapon’s safety, Taser drugs, tortures animals

According to electric-shock weapons maker Taser International, if a bunch of sheep are fed methamphetamine and subjected to a series of shocks and none of them suffer cardiac arrest, that weapon must be alright to use on real meth addicts. That was the aim of a recent study paid for…

Groups call for arrest of West Virginia mine CEO

A coalition of NGOs who say they are fighting against the influence of the US Chamber of Commerce has called for the arrest of Don Blankenship, the CEO responsible for the West Virginia mine where 29 workers lost their lives last week. In a press release on Monday, StopTheChamber.com said…

Four missing US miners found dead

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Four US miners missing after a deadly blast at a West Virginia coal mine have been found dead, a discovery that brought to a tragic conclusion a nearly week-long search for survivors, local officials announced early Saturday. “We did not receive the miracle we prayed for,” West…

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