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Feature: Disaster in the Gulf

The oil that spewed into the Gulf was an unprecedented environmental disaster that continues to devastate local communities. It will be years before we understand the full extent of the damage. The bipartisan commission appointed by President Obama in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster found that the disaster was not a one-time fluke, but a result of systemic failures in government oversight and industry management. The oil industry, the administration and Congress should move swiftly to implement the recommendations of the commission to guard against another deadly disaster.

Take action! Tell Congress to implement the recommendations of the presidential oil spill commission to prevent another Gulf oil disaster >>

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Tentative Settlement in the Deepwater Horizon Case

Posted July 7, 2015 by David Pettit

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There was a tentative settlement last week in the Clean Water Act lawsuit that the US government brought against BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The settlement is tentative in the sense that the parties have agreed but...continued

Court Ruling Could Require BP to Pay Billions in Fines for Gulf Oil Spill Restoration

Posted September 5, 2014 by Frances Beinecke

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A federal judge ruled on Thursday that BP acted with “gross negligence” in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. This decision could result in the company paying an estimated $18 billion in fines. And the vast majority of that...continued

Four Years after BP Oil Disaster Many Lessons Remain Unlearned

Posted April 18, 2014 by Frances Beinecke

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Four years ago this weekend, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 men and sending 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  I flew over the site after the blowout and was stunned by the vast reach...continued

Holidays on the Oil Spill Front Lines

Posted November 25, 2013 by Rocky Kistner

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This will be J.J. Creppel's last Thanksgiving at his home in Plaquemines Parish, a sliver of marshy land that juts out from the southeast corner of Louisiana and hugs the Mississippi River as it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. But J.J....continued

Latest Blowout in the Gulf Shows America Still Hasn't Learned Lessons of BP Disaster

Posted July 26, 2013 by Frances Beinecke

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A natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico blew out Tuesday night, igniting a fire and forcing the evacuation of 44 workers. Fortunately no one was injured, but natural gas is leaking and a relief well may have to...continued

Settlement in the Gulf

Posted June 20, 2013 by Michael Jasny

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  Here’s a recipe for an environmental train wreck: Take one of the world's most powerful industries, allow it to conduct harmful activities for years without obtaining the basic authorizations required by law, and produce a wealth of science making...continued

Three Years Later: Act on the Lessons of BP Disaster

Posted April 17, 2013 by Frances Beinecke

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This Saturday marks the third anniversary of the BP blowout that killed 11 men aboard the Deepwater Horizon and sent some 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, in what President Obama called the...continued

Lubchenco Has Championed Science and Ocean Restoration at NOAA

Posted January 7, 2013 by Frances Beinecke

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The United States used to be a laggard in managing ocean fisheries. Popular and valuable fish got pushed to the brink of collapse and others seemed poised to follow. But this year, the US established itself as a global leader...continued

On the Carbon Pollution Front Lines, There's No Normal Anymore

Posted January 1, 2013 by Rocky Kistner

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As Congress stumbles through an embarrassing year-end game of fiscal brinkmanship, the world continues its slow burn toward unchartered and dangerous territory. It’s a future that threatens us all with more cataclysmic storms, punishing drought, mind-boggling Arctic ice melts, and more...continued

How Does the FDA Know What Is Safe to Eat or Buy If It Doesn't Define Safe?

Posted December 19, 2012 by Peter Lehner

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More than 90 percent of Americans carry residues of the chemical BPA in our bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control. We encounter the chemical through every day products such canned food, and ATM receipts, and this steady exposure...continued


Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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