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Expert tracking from the estimable ProPublica.


Date: April 30

Headline: BP Had Other Problems In Years Leading to Gulf Spill

Excerpt: "BP, the global oil giant responsible for the fast-spreading spill in the Gulf of Mexico that will soon make landfall, is no stranger to major accidents.

"In fact, the company has found itself at the center of several of the nation's worst oil and gas-related disasters in the last five years."


Date: April 30

Headline: Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns

Excerpt: "The exact makeup of the dispersants is kept secret under competitive trade laws, but a worker safety sheet for one product, called Corexit, says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, a compound associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses."


Date: June 1

Headline: A Mystery: When Did Gov't Exempt Gulf Drilling from Detailed Enviro Reviews?

Excerpt: "Somehow, the Minerals Management Service decided that there was little chance of disaster and thus gave the entire central and western Gulf an exclusion from a requirement for comprehensive environmental reviews."


Date: May 4

Headline: Congressmen Raised Concerns About BP Safety Before Gulf Oil Spill

Excerpt: "In that letter, dated Jan. 14, 2010, Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., noted that the company's efforts to cut costs could imperil safety at BP facilities.

"Between September 2008 and November 2009, three BP gas and oil pipelines on Alaska's North Slope ruptured or clogged, leading to a risk of explosions, the letter said. A potentially cataclysmic explosion was also avoided at a BP gas compressor plant, where a key piece of equipment designed to prevent the buildup of gas failed to operate, and the backup equipment intended to warn workers was not properly installed."


Date: June 7

Headline: Years of Internal BP Probes Warned That Neglect Could Lead to Accidents

Excerpt: "A series of internal investigations over the past decade warned senior BP managers that the company repeatedly disregarded safety and environmental rules and risked a serious accident if it did not change its ways.

"The confidential inquiries, which have not previously been made public, focused on a rash of problems at BP's Alaska oil-drilling unit that undermined the company's publicly proclaimed commitment to safe operations. They described instances in which management flouted safety by neglecting aging equipment, pressured or harassed employees not to report problems, and cut short or delayed inspections in order to reduce production costs. Executives were not held accountable for the failures, and some were promoted despite them."


Date: June 9

Headline: BP's Spill Plans Had Few Ways to Stop a Blowout

Excerpt: "Containment domes, top hats and top kills. By now BP and the government have tried to stop the growing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico with a series of different techniques, each with an odder name than the next.

"But where are all these ideas coming from, we've wondered. Did BP or the government have plan in place in the event of a blowout?

"The answer, so far as we can see: No. None of the documents and plans we've been able to find have details on how to deal with a blowout."


Date: June 10

Headline: Gov't and BP Unresponsive on Requests for Data on Sick Cleanup Workers

Excerpt: "Getting statistics on worker illness related to the Gulf oil spill is proving to be difficult, as federal agencies continually refer requests either to another federal agency or to BP."


Date: June 15

Headline: BP E-mails Show Decisions Pre-Blast to Save 'Lots of Time' and Money

Excerpt: "The House Energy and Commerce Committee, in an effort to press BP on its cost-cutting and time-saving decisions that led to the Gulf disaster, has released a series of documents that seem to show BP cutting corners on what it knew was a 'nightmare well.'"


Date: June 16

Headline: BP Says Workers May Speak to the Media, But Video Suggests Otherwise

Excerpt: "Sir, you cannot interview the workers."


Date: June 16

Headline: States' Tally of Spill Worker Illnesses Exceeds BP's Total

Excerpt: "The latest numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals are in, showing 109 reports of illnesses [1] from spill workers and others after exposure to polluted water, tar balls, liquid oil, odor and fumes, dispersant, and heat in the Gulf."


Comments welcome.


Posted on June 18, 2010

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