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Alaska 87 articles

Gulf coast oil spill reminiscent of coal ash disaster

Another preventable environmental crisis strikes again, leaving behind a murky forecast for those in its wake. First there was the coal ash spill that dumped a billion gallons of sludge on to homes, property and waterways in east Tennessee. Then came the massive oil spill following an explosion in a rig 50 miles off the Louisiana coastline, a still uncontained problem that is oozing millions of gallons of oil into the ocean wreaking havoc in its wake. The residents of Kingston, Tenn., know the scenario well by now. It’s been 14 months since an impoundment pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority ... Read More

Former Oil Rig Worker Says Cheating on Blowout Preventer Tests Widespread

BP will not be happy with Mike Mason. Mason is a 27 year oil industry veteran who worked on oil rigs at BP facilities on the North Slope of Alaska.  He knows the ins and outs of blowout preventers.  And he says that cheating on tests for blowout preventers is widespread in the industry.  He says he’s witnessed BP cheating on such tests in the North Slope. On January 21, 2005, Corporate Crime Reporter ran an article detailing Mason’s allegations of BP’s cheating on blowout preventer tests.  At the time, Mason was working for Nabors Alaska Drilling Inc. – a ... Read More

21 years later Exxon still fights liability for the Valdez oil spill

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker spilled 11 million gallons of North Slope crude oil into the Alaska’s Prince William Sound, one of the cleanest, most unspoiled coastal ecosystems in America. More than two decades later, animals and residents continue to suffer from the spill’s devastating effects, and scientists say that it could be another 2 decades before the area fully recovers. However, even though millions of fish, sea birds, bald eagles, seals, otters, whales and other creatures suffered agonizing deaths as a result of Exxon’s spill, and even though many of the local communities so dependent ... Read More

Utah law punishes motorists who text and drive

Utah set an early precedent when it recently passed some tough legislation against texting and driving. It’s a precedent that will inevitably pass in other states, whatever their political slant, because texting and driving has been revealed as an undeniably dangerous act — twice as bad as driving with the typical legal limit of alcohol in one’s blood. Utah’s new law punishes drivers who cause a fatality while texting and driving as severely as drivers who kill others while drinking and driving. Crashes caused by texting drivers are no longer considered accidents in Utah. They are considered reckless and negligent acts involving a ... Read More

Brake problems prompt Toyota vehicle recalls

Concerns over brake problems in extremely cold temperatures with some Toyota vehicles has promoted Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., the U.S. division of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to voluntarily recall about 95,700 Toyota and Scion vehicles. The vehicles affected by the recall include certain 2009 and 2010 model year Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and 2008 and 2009 Scion xD vehicles, all with 1.8 liter engines. If operated in extremely low ambient temperatures condensation from the positive crankcase ventilation, or PVC, may seep into the brake system vacuum port and freeze. If ice ... Read More

One month later, impact of spill hard to grasp

A month after a holding pond at a coal-fired electric plant in Kingston, Tennessee, spilled over and poured more than 2.2 million pounds of toxic materials over 300 acres in East Tennessee, authorities are still trying to get a grasp of the economic toll it will take on the area, according to The Institute for Southern Studies. A team of scientists from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., have begun collecting water, sediment and fish samples from the Emory, Clinch and Tennessee rivers, and what they have found is alarming. Many of the fish collected by the scientists had large ... Read More

FDA makes blunder during hiring of PR firm to improve image

Every company can use a good spin doctor from time to time, and it looks like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is no exception. Last month I told you that California Rep. Harry Waxman, who serves as head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, raised concerns that items outlined on the FDA’s 2007 priorities list appeared to prioritize industry desires over consumer protection. This, just months after more than 80 American deaths were linked to tainted heparin that was made in Baxter International Inc.’s facility in China. FDA officials later acknowledged they had not inspected that facility ... Read More