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Oil Spill

The Brian Lehrer Show

Law of the Jungle: An Environmental Ruling with a Big Twist

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In 2011, an Ecuadoran judge fined Chevron $19billion for damages caused to the Amazon. But after the ruling, the case took a big twist when questions about the winning lawyer emerged.

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The Takeaway

Retro Report: The Exxon Valdez Disaster

Monday, December 09, 2013

This week our friends at Retro Report look back at a cold March night in 1989 when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Southern Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound and creating one of the worst oil spills in American history. Scott Michels, reporter for Retro Report, joins The Takeaway to examine how the spill happened and what we did and didn't learn from the disaster.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Arkansas Oil Spill

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On March 29, an oil leak started in the town of Mayflower, Arkansas, near Little Rock, spilling between 80,000 and 420,000 gallons of tar sands diluted bitumen. If you haven’t heard much about it, it’s because Exxon Mobil, which operates the pipeline that ruptured, has limited access to the site. Michael Hibblen, News Director at Arkansas public radio station KUAR, talks about trying to cover the spill and Anthony Swift, Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer, talks about the potential environmental impact of the spill and what it means for the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Features

Manhattan Galleries Focus in on Edward Burtynsky

Friday, December 02, 2011

A sweeping overhead shot of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and abstract aerials of dryland farming in northeastern Spain. See a slideshow of Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky's large-scale chromogenic color prints here.

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WNYC News

Officials Cleaning Upstate NY Oil Spill After Storm

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oil and water don't mix — but the two are jointly causing problems in Schoharie County in upstate New York where flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Irene damaged tanks at an oil distribution center and caused a spill.

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Transportation Nation

Congress Wants Answers in Montana ExxonMobil Pipeline Spill

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Yellowstone River (photo: Splinter Group/Flickr)

(Billings, MT - Yellowstone Public Radio) --An oil pipeline break earlier this month  that sent 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River has soiled river banks and vegetation, and may have impacted the areas fisheries and wildlife.   Continued high, fast-flowing water is hampering assessment efforts -- but a Congressional committee wants answers.

The director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality sent a letter this week to ExxonMobil's CEO demanding an explanation from the Houston-based company about how much oil spilled into the river. Some estimates put the amount of oil at 42,000 gallons.

At the time of the break water in the Yellowstone River near Billings was running high and fast at or near flood stage. As of yesterday, U-S Environmental Protection Agency officials overseeing the cleanup said between 1-5% of the spilled oil has been recovered.

The Silvertip Pipeliine is a 12-inch diameter pipeline that transports crude from Elk Basin, Wyoming to the ExxonMobile refinery in Billings, Montana. The pipe broke late Friday night near Laurel, Montana, a community about 15 miles west of Billings in south-central Montana.

At this time the cause of the spill has not been determined.

The U-S Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the primary federal agency that oversees the safety of energy pipelines.

On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials is scheduled to hold a hearing on Silvertip Pipeline break. Witnesses called:  PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman, ExxonMobil President Gary Pruessing, and National Wildlife scientist Douglas Inkley.

In the meantime, cleanup continues.  Falling river levels finally allowed cleanup teams on Monday to launch boats in flooded areas where the river has jumped its banks. Oil has been sighted as far downstream as 90 miles downstream, although the fast moving river and the vast distances is making it difficult for officials to verify landowner sightings.

The response time lag and ExxonMobil's response to landowner concerns prompted the State of Montana to pull staff out of the unified command team directing the cleanup. (http://www.epa.gov/yellowstoneriverspill/) Instead, Governor Brian Schweitzer opened the state's own office. (http://yellowstoneriveroilspill.mt.gov/).

A public meeting is scheduled at 6:30 pm in Laurel, Montana to give area residents an update on the cleanup. Claims officials are also expected to be on site.

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The Takeaway

Kenneth Feinberg on Gulf Coast Claims Process, One Year After Spill

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today marks one year since the Deepwater oil rig exploded, leaking oil into the Gulf. More than half a million people say that BP owes them money, and many of them say the compensation process is unfair and is taking too long. Kenneth Feinberg is in charge of the $20 billion in compensation fund. He responds to Gulf residents who say the process isn't fair. 

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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 Leonard Lopate Show

In Too Deep

Monday, January 10, 2011

Journalist Stanley Reed, who has covered BP for over a decade, and investigative reporter Alison Fitzgerald discuss disasters at the oil company BP—from last year's blowout in the Gulf of Mexico to previous oil spills and explosions—and look at what the future might hold for the oil company. Their book In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race That Took it Down is an account of the company and the problems that have plagued it.

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The Takeaway

Lingering Questions about the Oil Spill

Monday, September 20, 2010

So after months of hyperbole and the worst kind of gloom and doom from everyone associated with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it's suddenly over.

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The Takeaway

What Do You Want to Know About the Oil Spill?

Monday, September 20, 2010

The well in the Gulf of Mexico that spewed oil all summer is now permanently sealed. We're looking back at what we can learn from the event.

And we heard from you. Listeners and Facebook fans send in questions and we got answers from Robert Hernan, author of "This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from the Fifteen Worst Environmental Disasters Around the World," who also joined us on the air.

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The Takeaway

BP Internal Investigation Points Finger at Other Companies in Oil Spill Disaster

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Earlier this morning, BP released the results of its own investigation of what caused the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico over the summer. The inquiry states that "no single factor caused the Macondo well tragedy," and heavily lays blame on BP's contractors, particularly Halliburton and Transocean.

The report is being seen both as an attempt at spin control by the beleaguered company, as well as their likely defense strategy in what could be years of litigation. Ian Urbina of our partner, The New York Times joins us with the latest.

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Studio 360

Don't Forget Us: Photographing the Oil Spill

Friday, August 13, 2010

The biggest piece of bad news of the last 4 months seems to be getting less bad: the Deepwater Horizon oil well is plugged, and the spill is disappearing from the surface of the Gulf fast.  As the catastrophe fades the photographer Zoe Strauss is doing her part to keep our focus on the disaster – and how it continues to affect people who live on the Gulf.

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The Takeaway

BP Investigating Potentially Bogus Compensation Claims

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BP has pledged to give $20 billion in compensation to victims of the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil gusher. So far, $300 million has been distributed, but many are concerned that some portion of this money has gone to people scamming the system.

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The Takeaway

New Orleans Judge Will Rule on Hundreds of BP Lawsuits

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The fate of hundreds of federal lawsuits stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been settled. The cases will go in front of a single judge in New Orleans. The issue of how to handle these suits is a contentious one and some are wondering if it's possible to hold a fair trial. Judge Carl J. Barbier has owned some oil industry bonds, meanwhile New Orleans residents are extremely angry about the spill. National legal correspondent for The New York Times, John Schwartz reports from New Orleans.

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The Takeaway

Good News from BP, Uncertain Reactions from the Gulf

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A federal report released yesterday says that 75 percent of the oil in the Gulf has either evaporated or been removed. However, local residents are skeptical and distrustful of the government and BP. There is also uncertainty surounding the environmental future of the region, which directly affects its economic future. New York Times correspondent, Campbell Robertson reports from New Orleans.

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Transportation Nation

The Whimper at the End of the Energy Debate

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) This is the way the summer ends: Not with a bang, but a whimper.

The U.S. Senate has hung up its energy policy ambitions for now, shelving any hope of even the narrowest drilling or green energy legislation before lawmakers head home for the August recess at the end of this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced yesterday afternoon that he was canceling plans for a vote on a package of energy provisions after the bill, much of which was bipartisan, failed to attract a single Republican.

"Since Republicans refuse to move forward with any meaningful debate, we’ll postpone tomorrow’s vote on energy until after the recess,” Reid told reporters yesterday.

That comment was the death knell for a spring and summer of wrangling over energy legislation in the Senate.

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The Takeaway

Is the Oil Spill Debris in Landfills Hazardous to Our Health?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Attempts to permanently seal the ruptured BP oil rig are now well underway, but major concerns about the gusher's cleanup continue to swirl around the Gulf Coast. 

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The Takeaway

The Silver Lining: When Disaster Helps Political Fortunes

Monday, August 02, 2010

All it took was the threat of oil hitting the white beaches of Florida to reignite the political fortunes of Gov. Charlie Crist. Once counted out in the polls and basically chased out of his own party, the now independent Crist is the frontrunner.

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The Takeaway

Agenda: Slowing Economy, BP's Dispersants, and Obama's Birthday

Monday, August 02, 2010

We look ahead this week to birthdays, oil in the Gulf and unemployment numbers. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama turns 49; former White House correspondent Helen Thomas turns 90 on the same day. Besides birthdays, there will hopefully be another cause for celebration down on the Gulf coast: BP may have found a way to permanently seal the well that has gushed roughly 184 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

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