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Gulf Of Mexico

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Explainer: If Oil Production Increased, Why Aren't Republicans Gassed?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A June auction of over 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for drilling may look nice on the President's energy résumé, but leaves oil companies and Republicans wanting more.

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The Takeaway

Former BP Engineer Arrested in Connection with Gulf of Mexico Spill

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More than two years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion that killed 11 workers and caused millions of barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, federal authorities have arrested Kurt Mix, a former BP engineer. Mix was among those tasked with monitoring and stopping the leaking oil; he is is accused of destroying evidence showing exactly what the company knew about why attempts to seal the leak were failing.

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Transportation Nation

No Recession at the Port of Houston

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bayport Container Terminal near Houston. Photo courtesy of Port of Houston.

(Houston--KUHF) The Port of Houston is busy these days. There are 25 miles of public and private facilities along the Houston Ship Channel, which brings in traffic from Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Figures show the port ranks first in the U.S. in handling foreign waterborne tonnage and second in terms of overall tonnage. Officials tout numbers from a recent study showing the port has about a 118 billion dollar economic impact in Texas. There's also state and local sales tax revenues, pegged at close to four billion dollars.

"Any business that can demonstrate profitability in these times of economic uncertainty is on the right path," said Houston Port Authority Chairman Jim Edmond outlined successes and challenges in his annual "State of the Port" address.

Edmonds says diverse cargo is part of the reason for the port's strong performance in down economic times. They're handling more steel pipe for one, showing a 62 percent increase from last year, and officials say that's because of increased drilling activity. Edmonds cited a ten percent increase in total tonnage for the first nine months of the year, along with a 12 percent increase in revenue and a 35 percent increase in net income.

"The worst thing for the people of Houston and the state of Texas is to operate as though we are in a recession. We aren't. Economic recession can be a fear-driven dynamic," he said optimistically.

Still, challenges lie ahead for the Port of Houston. The widening and deepening of the Panama Canal is only a couple of years away and that could bring ships to Houston that are two to three times larger than the ones the port currently serves.

It's what Edmonds calls a "game changer." He says it will require three billion dollars in capital improvements to get ready for the bigger vessels. That includes work on six wharves at the 35-year-old Barbours Cut terminal, which sits at the mouth of Galveston Bay. Work is slated to begin next year.

"It's expected to take about 18 months to modernize each wharf at Barbours Cut at a cost of $25 million per wharf, and about $65 million per wharf to equip it with wharf cranes and RTG cranes," the shorthand for rubber tire gantry cranes for stacking and storing large quantities of shipping containers

Edmonds says the Port of Houston is one of about a dozen ports around the U.S. that's aggressively getting ready to handle the larger ships, in what he calls a "high-stakes" competition.

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The Takeaway

Gulf Fishing Communities a Year Later

Friday, April 15, 2011

A year after a an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig created a devastating oil spill in the region, how are fishing communities in the Gulf of Mexico dealing with the disaster? The BBC's Robyn Bresnahan visited the area to speak with people whose livelihood has been affected by the spill and the aftermath. She's witnessed everything from dead oysters to a resident so determined to increase awareness she walked to Washington D.C. from New Orleans on foot. Today we hear more from Bresnahan about her experiences in the Gulf. 

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The Takeaway

A New Year, or Same Old Sludge for the Gulf Coast?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All week long we're talking with some of our favorite guests from the past year about the year that was, and what they foresee in the year ahead.

Today: a conversation about the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry…the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which leaked over 205 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf this past spring and summer. The leaking oilhead was capped in July: how are people in Gulf states doing today?

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WQXR News

Federal Gov't Lifts Ban on Deepwater Drilling

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The federal government has lifted a ban on deepwater oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, more than a month before it was set to expire. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the decision on Tuesday. As The Associated Press reports, critics of the ban, including oil companies, had argued that a six-month moratorium would harm their business.

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WQXR News

Oil Platform Explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 13 people following an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning. The oil platform is about 100 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

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WQXR News

Crews Evacuate Gulf as Storm Approaches

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cleanup crews began evacuating the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, as Tropical Storm Bonnie made its way toward the area.

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WQXR News

BP Resumes Testing on Containment Cap

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Federal officials have halted tests on the new containment cap.

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WQXR News

Latest Fix in the Gulf Could Cap Oil Spill

Friday, July 09, 2010

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says the latest fix to stop the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico could temporarily increase the amount of oil spilling into the water; but, if this weekend's plan works, the spill could be contained in just a few days, according to the Associated Press.

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WQXR News

Tar Balls Wash Up on Texas Beach

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

That means crude from the Deepwater Horizon spill has now hit the beaches of every state sitting on the Gulf of Mexico.

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WQXR News

New Gulf Moratorium Amid Problems with Relief Efforts

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New problems upset relief efforts in the gulf, as the government promises a new moratorium on deepwater drilling.

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WQXR News

President Obama Returns to Gulf Coast

Monday, June 14, 2010

President Barack Obama is back in the Gulf Coast for a two-day visit.

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WQXR News

Pelosi Favors Lifting Cap on Company Liability

Friday, June 11, 2010

With new high oil spill figures, Pelosi speaks in favor of lifting cap on company liability for clean up.

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Transportation Nation

Shall We Kick Off The Energy Debate?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in January with Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (at left) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) -- The much-anticipated Senate debate over energy and climate change legislation is getting an early start.

Lawmakers are set to vote today on a GOP-backed resolution stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate carbon and other ‘greenhouse gasses’. The vote is shaping up as an early test of where lawmakers stand on curbing carbon emissions in advance of a full-blown energy policy debate set for July.

The EPA branded carbon an “endangerment” to human health in December, 2009, clearing the way for the agency to regulate it as a pollutant. That came after a Supreme Court decision ruling the agency had the power to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act.

But amid mounting global pressure for US action on climate change, the move was widely seen as the Obama Administration’s way to pressure reluctant lawmakers to act on carbon caps or face regulations from the EPA.

Still, Republicans decried EPA’s anti-carbon threatened rule-making as a power-grab.  Today’s vote, if successful and the bill becomes law, would strip EPA of the authority to make new carbon-control rules.

“The EPA intends to take control of climate policy.  Take it away from the Congress,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the resolution’s main sponsor. “This resolution is about protecting the economy and preventing agency overreach. It’s as simple as that,” she said.

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WQXR News

BP Prepares To Cap and Seal Pipe

Thursday, June 03, 2010

BP sliced off a pipe with giant shears in the latest bid to curtail the oil spill, but the cut was jagged and will be difficult to cap.

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The Takeaway

Feds to Pursue Criminal and Civil Inquiries Into Oil Spill

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

BP’s legal woes are mounting as oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that federal authorities will open both civil and criminal inquiries into the Gulf Oil spill.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Regulators, Lobbyists and the Gulf

Thursday, May 27, 2010

As the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico drags on, two reports have come out this week detailing some of the mismanagement, missteps and incentives that may have contributed to the spill.

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