Texas braces for 'tar ball event' from gulf oil spill

With a broken well spewing thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico — and with no immediate relief in sight, state officials say it now seems almost inevitable that residue will begin reaching Texas waters, probably in the form of tar balls or a frothy substance resembling chocolate mousse. | 05/11/10 07:38:50 By - Dave Montgomery

BP's next plan for oil spill includes 'top hat' and 'junk shot'

BP officials on Monday announced another experimental plan to capture the crude oil that's gushing from a mangled well 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico as Louisiana authorities prepared for the likely arrival of a massive oil slick along the state's marshy shoreline. | 05/11/10 00:54:12 By - Mark Washburn, Geoff Pender, Dan Chang and Jennifer Lebovich

BP, Transocean, Halliburton will blame one another for spill

In testimony at Senate hearings today into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, top executives from BP America, which owns the leaking well, Tansocean Ltd., which owned the sunken rig, and Halliburton, whose employees poured the cement around the well, will blame one another for the as-yet-undetermined cause of the explosion, according to their prepared testimony. | 05/10/10 23:51:06 By - Erika Bolstad

Oil spill already killing business on Alabama's Dauphin Island

Bill Lindley, an island business owner for 22 years, said he's not seeing any tourists or sport fishermen as the island sits on the brink of its tourist season. People just aren't showing up. Over the weekend, the first confirmed tar balls came ashore. | 05/10/10 21:27:05 By - Karen Nelson

U.S. agency let oil industry write offshore drilling rules

The oil industry, not the federal agency that regulates it, plays a crucial role in writing the safety and environmental rules for offshore drilling, a role that critics say reflects cozy ties between an industry and its regulators that need to be snapped. | 05/10/10 19:46:31 By - Les Blumenthal and Erika Bolstad

Engineers stymied on how to stop surging Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Nineteen days after oil started spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, experts appeared Sunday to have no certain plan for sealing anytime soon a runaway well 5,000 feet below the gulf's surface. Engineers were still deciding which scenario might temporarily stanch the flow, amid fears it could go on for another three months. | 05/10/10 00:49:34 By - Jennifer Lebovich, Michael Newsome and Laura Isensee

Drilling frenzy has outpaced oil industry's safety efforts

As BP and other oil companies have drilled wells as far as 10,000 feet under the Gulf, they've continued to use safety systems that are the same as those used in shallower water safety systems that have failed in the past. And while the consequences of an accident have increased, the oil industry's ability to respond to one has not. One federal study described the industry's options for stanching a major well leak as "nonexistent." | 05/08/10 19:48:51 By - Curtis Morgan and Scott Hiaasen

Gulf oil spill: BP has a long record of legal, ethical violations

The causes of the disastrous blowout and gas explosion on BP's leased Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico are a long way from being determined. Yet already BP's actions are facing unprecedented scrutiny. No wonder. The company's been in legal and ethical trouble for years. | 05/08/10 19:00:55 By - Richard Mauer and Anna M. Tinsley

Gulf oil spill setback: Dome doesn't work as planned

A mammoth white containment dome placed over a leaking oil well 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico was moved away from the well Saturday after ice-like crystals clogged the massive steel-and-concrete box. "I wouldn't say it failed yet," said BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles. "What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn't work." But Suttles also said he didn't know how the problem could be fixed. | 05/08/10 16:13:27 By - Patricia Mazzei and Donna Melton

Gulf coast holds its breath as dome is lowered on well

Underwater robots maneuvered a mammoth white containment dome over a leaking oil well 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday as environmentalists, fishermen and hoteliers waited to see if the unprecedented effort would contain this region's 17-day-long ecological disaster. | 05/07/10 19:56:59 By - Geoff Pender, Jim Wyss and Jennifer Lebovich

Critics question BP's leading role in oil spill recovery

BP has been front and center in the aftermath of the explosion and oil spill at its rig in the Gulf of Mexico. But given the scope of the ecological disaster in the making on the Gulf Coast, some critics are questioning the company's commanding role in the recovery — despite Obama administration reassurances that the Coast Guard and other government agencies are working side by side with the petroleum giant. | 05/07/10 19:54:59 By - Maria Recio

Since spill, feds have given 27 waivers to oil companies in gulf

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. The waivers were granted despite President Barack Obamas vow that his administration would launch a relentless response effort to stop the leak and prevent more damage to the gulf. One of them was dated Friday — the day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he was temporarily halting offshore drilling | 05/07/10 17:02:46 By - Marisa Taylor

Gulf spill reminds America: The era of 'easy oil' is over

To meet the world's boundless thirst for oil, drillers are searching in the sand and mud of remote western Canada, the tough shale rock of North Dakota and more than a mile under the seas off the southern U.S. coast, where a drilling accident has sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. | 05/07/10 16:16:49 By - Shashank Bengali

U.S. seeks more data from Shell on Arctic Ocean drilling plans

Saying there are new safety concerns raised by the April 20 explosion of an oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the Interior Department has given Shell Oil until May 18 to provide more information about the company's exploratory drilling plans in the Arctic Ocean. | 05/07/10 13:52:46 By - Erika Bolstad

'Dome' is a temporary method of containing gulf oil spill

The 78-ton steel containment dome that crews lowered over the Deepwater Horizon site on Thursday night represents the best immediate chance to slow the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out well. But even if it works — a big "if" that may not play out for days — it's still a temporary measure subject to weather and other conditions. | 05/07/10 07:02:00 By - Fred Tasker

Gulf coast waits as oil begins to lap at offshore islands

Oil sheens began lapping the shores of Louisiana's barrier islands on Thursday as emergency crews moved a 78-ton dome into place in the Gulf of Mexico in hopes of lowering it over a runaway oil well 5,000 feet below the water's surface. | 05/07/10 06:05:15 By - Geoff Pender, Jim Wyss and Jennifer Lebovich

Shell defends Alaska offshore drilling plans on Capitol Hill

Shell Oil, hoping to put a vast distance between the oil gushing from a British Petroleum rig into the Gulf of Mexico and its own pending Arctic project, sent a top executive and engineer to Capitol Hill this week to persuade decision makers that the company still be allowed to drill exploratory wells off Alaska's northern coast. | 05/06/10 21:34:19 By - Erika Bolstad

Gulf coast waits as oil begins lapping at offshore islands

Oil sheens began lapping the shores of Louisiana's barrier islands on Thursday as emergency crews moved a 78-ton dome into place in the Gulf of Mexico in hopes of lowering it over a runaway oil well 5,000 feet below the water's surface. | 05/06/10 19:57:32 By - Geoff Pender, Jim Wyss and Jennifer Lebovich

Gulf oil spill spreads into U.S. politics

The oil spill is reaching far beyond the Gulf Coast and deep into American politics in an important election year. | 05/06/10 18:50:44 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Researchers worry about oil dispersants' impact, too

In the scramble to keep oil off wetlands and beaches in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum has sprayed and pumped so much chemical dispersant into the water that its supplies by Thursday were running out as the first oil began to come ashore. | 05/06/10 17:57:52 By - Renee Schoof and Anita Lee

Florida legislators suggest a state ban on offshore drilling

Two state representatives are calling for an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would ban oil and gas drilling in state-controlled waters off the coast, and Gov. Charlie Crist, a one-time Republican now seeking a U.S. Senate seat as an independent, said Thursday he is open to the idea. | 05/06/10 16:59:09 By - Sara Kennedy

Owner of sunken oil rig defends Transocean's safety record

Steven Newman, Transocean's president and chief executive, told industry analysts during a conference call on the company's quarterly earnings that it would be "premature'' and "inappropriate'' to speculate on what caused the April 20 blast that sank the $600 million rig and left 11 crew members missing and presumed dead. | 05/06/10 14:22:05 By - Curtis Morgan

Report adds to doubts about key oil rig safety equipment

As offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere boomed, a 2003 report warned that the industry wasn't taking time to find and fix the problems that commonly plagued blowout preventers — the supposedly failsafe mechanisms designed to stop oil spills such as the one now threatening the gulf coast. | 05/05/10 18:34:36 By - Les Blumenthal

Despite disaster, U.S. has little choice but to drill offshore

If the oil spill off the Louisiana coast leads to a federal ban on ultra-deepwater drilling and production it could cripple an increasingly important source of America's domestic oil supply. Conventional U.S. oil production has been in decline since the 1970s, and near-shore production along the Gulf Coast peaked in 1997. | 05/05/10 19:12:01 By - Kevin G. Hall

Dome arrives at spewing oil well site as weather worries rise

Weather forecasters warned Wednesday that shifting winds could drive a massive oil spill across islands off the Louisiana coast on Friday even as BP officials announced that they'd succeeded in shutting off one of three leaks spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico. | 05/05/10 19:51:02 By - Geoff Pender, Jim Wyss and Jennifer Lebovich

Washington state fines BP for safety violations at refinery

The BP Cherry Point refinery has been fined $69,200 for 13 safety violations that the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has labeled "serious." About 10 workers from the refinery have been sent to Louisiana to help with efforts to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. | 05/05/10 16:28:34 By - John Stark

Gulf oil spill: Visit to offshore islands finds a sea of orange

About 33 miles due south of Gulfport, a pair of Mississippi businessmen and a McClatchy reporter ecountered what appeared to be oil broken up by the dispersant that disaster responders are spraying from the air. | 05/05/10 15:59:05 By - Anita Lee

Never mind the oil spill, gas prices always go up in May

It isn't just the oil rig spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Along with Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day and Memorial Day, May brings higher gasoline prices at the pump as we creep toward summer. Nationally, gasoline prices averaged $2.93, a 7-cent jump from Monday. | 05/05/10 15:20:26 By - Rick Plumlee

Workers at gulf oil spill cap one leak

As emergency workers along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday raced to defend sensitive shorelines from the massive oil spill, authorities said they'd stopped one of the leaks at the deep-water well. It won't reduce the amount of oil flowing from BP's sunken rig, but it will allow the oil company to focus efforts on attacking the two remaining leaks, said Coast Guard Petty Officer David Mosley. | 05/05/10 11:36:46 By - Maria Recio, Anita Lee, Joseph Goodman and Jennifer Lebovich

S.C. beach tourism might get boost from gulf oil spill

South Carolina's Grand Strand could benefit from the Gulf Coast's misfortune as tourists planning to vacation there shift their travel plans fearing the impact of the oil spill. The Myrtle Beach Area and North Myrtle Beach chambers of commerce said there has been an increase in calls from those concerned about the spill and possibly looking for a different beach to visit. | 05/05/10 08:13:24 By - Jake Spring

Florida's tourism industry wary of oil spill's impact on business

For many in Florida's $60 billion tourism industry, the Gulf oil spill is a more frightening version of a hurricane threat, when fears of impending havoc leave hotel rooms empty and beaches barren on picture-perfect days. The grim novelty of the country's worst oil spill since 1989 has the Sunshine State's tourism leaders arguing over the best way to face the crisis and remind vacationers that all of Florida's coastline remains open for business. | 05/05/10 06:58:34 By - Douglas Hanks

Responders prepare for Gulf oil spill to hit shore

Teams of oil spill responders are getting ready in case oil from a deepwater oil rig that exploded comes ashore. It's hard to prepare, because it's too early to know where the oil will end up. | 04/27/10 16:39:45 By - Melissa M. Scallan

Schwarzenegger pulls backing for California offshore drilling

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger withdrew his support Monday for a controversial new offshore oil drilling project off the Santa Barbara coast in the wake of a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. | 05/03/10 17:02:38 By - Kevin Yamamura

Gulf island, still free of oil, is focus of concern

Dolphins played Tuesday in the warm Gulf of Mexico waters on the approach to this picturesque island nearly 12 miles off the Mississippi coast, but conservationists worried that could soon change if a huge oil slick swirling miles away comes ashore. | 05/04/10 19:19:57 By - Michael Newsom

Rescuers need volunteers to help save sea life from oil spill

Sheets, paper towels, Dawn dish detergent, heating pads and outdoor electrical cords. Wildlife response teams along Florida's Gulf Coast want it all and they want it fast, as they prepare for the birds and other sea life that are expected to arrive shortly from the Gulf oil spill area. | 05/04/10 19:07:59 By - Natalie Neysa Alund and Vin Mannix

Lawmakers unhappy after oil spill briefings from executives

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee expressed concerns over the causes and cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Tuesday after a two-hour, closed-door meeting with three officials from BP, Halliburton and Transocean on the spill and efforts to cap it. | 05/04/10 19:54:54 By - William Douglas, Maria Recio and Lesley Clark

West Florida waits to see if Gulf oil will hit

The west coast of Florida could get some of the oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but it will depend on weather conditions and currents. | 04/29/10 16:38:52 By - Robert Napper

Mississippi prepares as oil heads to coast

Oil has reached the coast of Louisiana, and now heads to Mississippi as well. | 04/30/10 09:38:14 By - Donna Melton

Mississippi waits for spill's environmental impact

Environmentalists in Mississippi fear for the worst when the oil hits the state this weekend. | 04/30/10 09:37:45 By - Karen Nelson

Opinions on offshore oil drilling in N.C. unchanged for now

The massive oil spill threatening Louisiana's environmentally fragile coast hasn't changed many minds among North Carolina politicians about offshore drilling, but several say the disaster was a warning. N.C. state Senate leader Marc Basnight, whose district includes a swath of northern coast heavily reliant on tourism and fishing — and clean water — said the spill was a reminder of the need to shift to greener sources of energy. | 04/30/10 07:36:58 By - Jay Price

Oil spill's effects on sea life may not be limited to the Gulf

Oil from a ruptured drilling rig could harm all kinds of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, from the Atlantic tarpon and bluefin tuna that have key spawning areas nearby to endangered sea turtles, commercial fisheries, migrating song birds and marine mammals. | 04/29/10 19:43:13 By - Renee Schoof and Karen Nelson

Pentagon on alert as Gulf Coast readies for oil's onslaught

With crude oil expected to wash up Thursday night along the Gulf Coast, President Barack Obama put the Department of Defense at the ready and dispatched three Cabinet officers to the scene. Booms intended to stop the oil were erected along the Gulf Coast and wildlife conservation groups prepared to rescue and clean oil-coated birds. | 04/29/10 20:35:21 By - Margaret Talev and David Lightman

Officials on Mississippi coast press BP to pay for cleanup

BP officials told South Mississippi leaders Saturday that beaches probably can't be protected from a major oil spill and will have to be cleaned after it comes ashore. Local government leaders pressed for promises the company will pay for the cleanup, but still stinging from delays in assistance after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, they also took steps to protect themselves. | 05/02/10 16:33:34 By - Melissa Scallan and Mary Perez

Palin calls oil spill 'tragic' and defends offshore drilling

Gulf of Mexico oil spill or not, Sarah Palin on Saturday defended offshore drilling as an essential component of U.S. energy security. Speaking to a crowd of mostly Republicans in Independence, Mo., the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate called the oil spill "very tragic" but added: "I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry." | 05/03/10 16:34:39 By - Steve Kraske

With oil slick still offshore, a frenzy of preparations

As Mother Nature kept the man-made oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico from making landfall, emergency workers along the Gulf Coast stepped up their efforts to defend sensitive shorelines and oil giant BP began what could a months-long process to stanch the flow of crude from its runaway well. | 05/04/10 19:49:27 By - Maria Recio, Audra Burch, Joseph Goodman and Jim Wyss

Gulf state governors to discuss oil spill disaster response

Governors of the coastal states battling the effects of thousands of gallons of oil seeping in the Gulf of Mexico will meet Tuesday in Mobile, Ala., to continue discussing disaster response plans. | 05/04/10 14:14:23 By - Curtis Morgan, Steve Bosquet and Jennifer Lebovich

Higher gas prices due to gulf oil spill have energy experts divided

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico won't cause higher retail gasoline prices, two people familiar with petroleum markets said Monday. But a third said he thinks that it will be a contributing factor in boosting pump prices. | 05/04/10 07:42:43 By - Jack Z. Smith

Loop current could carry gulf spill oil toward Florida Keys

Oceanographers tracking the massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico fear a powerful loop current will propel the mess across the mangrove islands, seagrass beds and coral reefs of the Florida Keys, then up toward Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and beyond. | 05/04/10 07:13:22 By - Curtis Morgan, Marc Caputo and Steve Rothaus

Gulf's seafood producers contemplate shortages

With fishing closed for at least 10 days from the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle, seafood producers and restaurant owners nationwide are worried about shortages. While fishermen in the potential path of the oil are preparing for the worst, it's still too early to calculate the potential effect it will have on seafood supplies and prices. | 05/03/10 22:46:37 By - Steve Campbell

Florida's Gulf Coast braces for oil spill's impact

With the slick from the Gulf oil spill predicted to hit Florida shores by midweek, some residents helped clean up litter from the beach, while others fished, surfed or indulged in seafood uncertain when they would able to again. | 05/03/10 16:32:46 By - Audra D.S. Burch and Joseph Goodman

Change in weather gives crews more time to fight oil spill

Shifting and easing winds on Monday bought time for weather-beaten crews to bottle up and burn off a massive slick of rust-colored crude oil before it fouls fragile marshes and sugary beaches across four Gulf Coast states. Containment efforts aren't certain to work, however, and preparations continued throughout the Gulf coast for environmental disaster. | 05/03/10 21:38:38 By - Curtis Morgan, Anita Lee and Steve Rothaus

California's Whitman, Poizner shift right on environment

Both California Republican gubernatorial candidates Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman have supported environmental causes before. But in their appeal to conservative voters this year, they have made environmental concerns subordinate to the state's struggling economy. | 05/03/10 16:32:25 By - Kevin Yamamura

Oil spill might miss Mississippi shores, Gov. Haley Barbour says

Gov. Haley Barbour said at a news conference Sunday that a massive oil spill might be contained without reaching Mississippi shores, but oil from the Deepwater Horizon had inched to within 9 miles of Plaquemines Parish and closer to marine nurseries that supply the Gulf of Mexico. | 05/03/10 16:32:08 By - Anita Lee

Mississippi's Rep. Taylor happy with Navy's help in oil spill

U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss, was so worked up Friday about the oil spill that he wanted the U.S. Navy to take a lead role in cleaning it up, but he had changed his tone by the weekend's conclusion. | 05/03/10 16:31:51 By - Anita Lee

Oil spill doesn't change positions in California GOP Senate race

The mammoth oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has done nothing to alter views on offshore drilling in California's Republican Senate race. | 05/03/10 16:31:37 By - Rob Hotakainen

Cement job at underwater well probed as possible cause

Officials haven't said what they think caused the April 20 explosion that led to the sinking two days later of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by Transocean Ltd. But industry speculation points to a process where cement is used to seal cracks in the ocean floor surrounding the tubing through which crude oil flows. | 04/30/10 19:33:47 By - Kevin G. Hall

Obama won't back off drilling plans, but pledges safeguards

President Barack Obama on Friday appeared unwilling to scrap plans to expand oil and gas exploration, but promised that the administration will carefully study what mistakes led to the explosion of an oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he had dispatched a team of Justice Department prosecutors to the Gulf Coast to monitor the unfolding environmental disaster. | 04/30/10 13:13:36 By - Margaret Talev and John Fitzhugh

Decade-old report cited failure of oil rig safety system

A 1999 report commissioned by the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling suggests failures of underwater blowout preventers designed to stop oil spills like the massive one threatening the Gulf Coast were far from unknown. Citing a Minerals Management Service report, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said there were 117 failures of blowout preventers during a two-year period in the late 1990s on the outer continental shelf of the United States. | 04/30/10 19:31:00 By - Les Blumenthal

Obama won't halt offshore plans, despite widening spill

President Barack Obama sent Justice Department investigators and military aircraft to the Gulf of Mexico Friday in response to the growing fear of the environmental damage that a spreading oil slick may cause, but he declined to abandon plans for new offshore drilling because of the unfolding disaster. | 04/30/10 19:59:00 By - John Fitzhugh and Margaret Talev

Obama to visit Gulf Coast as oil spill threatens Louisiana

President Barack Obama will travel to the Gulf Coast on Sunday as a massive oil spill lurked just off the Louisiana shore and could spread to other Gulf Coast states in the next several days. The well, 50 miles offshore in waters 5,000 feet deep, continued leaking more than 200,000 gallons of sweet crude oil a day, though some estimates were far higher. | 05/01/10 18:56:00 By - Les Blumenthal

What does Gulf oil spill have in common with Katrina? Attorneys

The sense of "we've been here before" that has Mississippi Gulf Coast residents comparing the approaching Gulf oil slick to the onslaught from Hurricane Katrina five years ago was complete Friday when attorneys filed lawsuit in federal court against multiple defendants for "gross negligence." | 04/30/10 17:25:00 By - Anita Lee

Despite oil spill, Texas's Perry voices 'full confidence' in BP

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry weighed in on the Gulf oil spill Monday, telling reporters that he had "full confidence" in British Petroleum and calling the blowout that led to the spill an "an act of God." He praised the Obama administration for "a good flow of information" but declined to grade the administration's response. | 05/03/10 16:01:06 By - Maria Recio

Gulf Coast states brace for nightmare cleanup from oil spill

Environmental and emergency managers acknowledged that they can't protect every stretch of coastline threatened by an undersea gusher spewing an oil slick that's spread across the Gulf of Mexico faster than expected. Mississippi, Alabama and Florida all were bracing for a nightmare cleanup from the biggest U.S. spill in two decades. | 05/02/10 14:40:27 By - Audra D.S. Burch, Joseph Goodman and Curtis Morgan

U.S. may send Navy to oil spill as threat to environment grows

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday designated a widening oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico as "a spill of national significance" as government officials acknowledged that the amount of oil spewing daily from the well is far more than earlier thought. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration may dispatch military ships to the area. | 04/29/10 12:30:23 By - Lesley Clark and Curtis Morgan

Gulf Coast begins preparing for oil's onslaught

State officials began compiling a priority list of where they want booms placed to block the Gulf oil slick, a shipyard placed its own booms to protect its facilities, and the Audubon Center began taking names of people who will be trained to clean oil-coated shore birds. | 04/29/10 15:12:32 By - Donna Melton

Sen. Landrieu's Senate speech defending oil drilling

This is the text of a speech delivered by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., about the oil spill disaster. | 04/29/10 19:20:05 By -

Growing Gulf oil spill prompts rethinking on offshore drilling

After spending 90 minutes flying over an oil spill that now covers hundreds of square miles in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he could no longer support offshore drilling. Even Florida's incoming House speaker, a longtime supporter of offshore dirlling, says he's he's rethinking his position. | 04/28/10 13:13:53 By - Marc Caputo, Mary Ellen Klas and Craig Pittman

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