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BP using Lake Michigan as refinery waste dump

BP is emptying dangerous levels of ammonia, mercury, and factory sludge that contains other toxic heavy metals into Lake Michigan, thanks to Indiana politicians and regulators who have practically given the oil giant and its massive Whiting refinery, the seventh-largest in the nation, a carte blanche on waste dumping. According to the Chicago Tribune, BP vowed six years ago to develop “cutting-edge technology that could sharply reduce toxic mercury discharged into Lake Michigan” at its Whiting refinery, about 20 miles southeast of Chicago across the Illinois-Indiana border. BP promised to clean up its act when it faced mounting public outrage, ... Read More

Gulf leaders may lose critical opportunity to save remaining coastal wetlands

Last month, when Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced that virtually all the funds the state would receive from BP for oil-spill restoration would be used to build an $85-million luxury hotel and conference center on the beach, environmentalists knew it was going to be a long battle to reverse the harm done to the Gulf’s beaches and wetlands and the sensitive ecosystems they sustain. After all, millions of barrels of highly toxic dispersant-treated oil are still blanketing the seafloor just off the coast, smothering all life for hundreds of square miles. And there the oil will remain for the next ... Read More

Federal government, Arkansas jointly sue ExxonMobil over tar sands oil spill

The U.S. Justice Department and the State of Arkansas have filed a joint lawsuit against oil giant ExxonMobil for violations to state and federal pollution laws involving its oil spill that flooded a community with highly toxic Canadian tar sands oil. ExxonMobil’s 70-year-old Pegasus pipeline ruptured in the residential neighborhood of Mayflower on March 29, 2013, releasing about 5,000 barrels of dense, sticky diluted bitumen oil made from Canadian tar sands treated with dozens of chemical additives. The 850-mile pipeline, which moves about 95,000 barrels of tar sands oil daily from Patoka, Illinois, to Nederland, Texas, ran about two feet ... Read More

BP will cease most oil spill cleanup work in June

BP is wrapping up its oil-spill cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast this month, pulling out of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and all but 83 miles of Louisiana coast, the company said. The oil giant has staged cleanup operations for more than three years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010 and flooded the northern Gulf of Mexico with crude. BP said on Monday that it invested more than $14 billion and 70 million personnel hours on the spill response and cleanup operations in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. According to the company, at its peak in 2010, ... Read More

Former oil spill cleanup worker on mission against Canadian tar sands fuel

When a tar sands pipeline owned by Enbridge ruptured in July 2010, John Bolenbaugh was one of the workers sent in to clean up the spill, which released more than a million gallons of heavy, highly toxic oil and chemical additives into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich. What Mr. Bolenbaugh experienced and witnessed compelled him to raise awareness of the dangers of tar sands oil and the Keystone XL Pipeline, a proposed project that would funnel billions of gallons of the tar sands or diluted bitumen “dilbit” through the middle of the U.S. According to the Arkansas Times, Mr. ... Read More

Gulf divers blame BP oil spill, chemical dispersants for strange illnesses

More than three years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion set off the worst oil spill in U.S. history, divers who worked in the vicinity of the spill collecting coral samples and taking journalists to the spill site say they are still suffering from a spectrum of illnesses they blame on their exposure to the contaminated Gulf waters. Scott Porter, a professional diver with a degree in marine biology, told the Tampa Bay Times that federal officials “kept telling us it was safe” to dive in the Gulf, so he and some fellow divers continued their work. At the time, Mr. ... Read More

Toxic oil, tar continue to wash ashore in Alabama years after BP oil spill

Tests conducted on the chunks of tar that continue to wash up along Alabama’s shoreline contain exactly the same chemical fingerprint as oil from BP’s massive 2010 oil spill, meaning the oily matter originates from the blown-out Macondo well that fed the Deepwater Horizon rig before it exploded and sank. As if that weren’t bad enough, scientific analyses have found all this tar is still loaded with highly toxic cancer-causing contaminants more than three years later. Reporters from Montgomery’s WSFA-TV 12 took a short walk on Orange Beach in March and collected two pounds of tar they found there. They then took ... Read More

Arkansas attorney general concerned says residents still sick after ExxonMobil oil spill

Mayflower, Ark., residents, including a number of children, are continuing to experience adverse health effects after ExxonMobil’s’s Pegasus pipeline ruptured, Dustin McDaniel, the state’s Attorney General said Tuesday. ExxonMobil’s pipeline breached on March 29, spilling about 5,000 barrels of highly toxic Canadian tar sands oil into a neighborhood and surrounding land. Mr. McDaniels said that town residents continue to suffer from headaches, nausea, and other adverse symptoms after more than a month after the spill. “As we met with residents and groups that represent them … I heard time and time again about their concerns for their health, especially the ... Read More

Keystone Pipeline would cost Americans $100 billion per year in damages, new report estimates

A new analysis of the hidden costs to society presented by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline estimates the damage to human health, property, the environment, and the climate could easily top $100 billion per year. The new report by Oil Change International comes on the heels of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis prepared for the State Department detailing the serious risks posed by the proposed pipeline, which would move thousands of barrels of highly toxic diluted bitumen (dilbit) oil through the middle U.S. from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The EPA’s sharp criticism of the plan was submitted to ... Read More

Alabama’s plans to build convention center with BP oil spill recovery funds sparks anger

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama is receiving $94 million from BP to restore its share of the Gulf Coast in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the governor plans to spend more than 90 percent of those funds on building a new hotel and convention center on the Gulf.  The decision to use the funds for economic development rather than environmental restoration has sparked outrage among conservationists and others concerned about the Gulf’s recovery from the massive oil disaster. The plan is to spend $85.5 million of the BP money to build a convention center in Gulf ... Read More