Gulf Oil Spill

Investigating the Impact of the BP Spill

The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest in U.S. history. ProPublica's coverage focused on BP’s safety and cost-cutting record, the environmental and health effects of the spill, the efforts at cleanup, and how it affected workers and the communities in the region.

Gov't Watchdog: Offshore Drilling Regulator Has Too Few Inspectors And Poor Training

In congressional testimony, the Interior Department inspector general says the Minerals Management Service relies too heavily on the oil and gas industry to report accurately on the work it is doing.

Oil and Gas Lobby, Unfazed by Gulf Disaster, Defends Regulators and Status Quo

Despite documented problems in offshore drilling regulation, the oil and gas industry, not surprisingly, is defending the authority of the Minerals Management Service and the status quo on regulations.

OSHA Head Agrees: Gulf Cleanup Workers Need More Training

OSHA's chief agrees with our finding that regulations on how much training an oil spill worker should get are out of date and inadequate.

GAO: Liability Caps Needed a Raise Even Before BP's Gulf Disaster

For years, the Government Accountability Office has suggested that liability limits are too on oil spills are low. Its most recent report repeats, word for word, what it said about liability caps two and a half years ago, showing recent calls for a cap increases are not a knee-jerk response to the BP oil spill.

No Signs that BP's Tracking Role of Chemical Exposure in Worker Illnesses

Though there are indications that chemical exposure may be related to some illnesses, records released by BP have little information about the effects that oil and disperants could be having on cleanup workers.

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

Louisiana and Alabama are reporting more illnesses related to the oil disaster in the Gulf than the Deepwater Horizon response team has recorded. Total health complaints in Louisiana alone have risen 35 percent since a previous report was issued last week.

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

The House Energy and Commerce Committee releases documents suggesting that BP took dangerous shortcuts on its disastrous well in the Gulf of Mexico. The committee says BP "repeatedly chose risky procedures in order to reduce costs and save time,"

Read: BP's Document on Workers' Illnesses and Injuries, Little Mention of Chemical Exposure

BP has posted an accounting of 485 injuries and illnesses reported by cleanup workers in the Gulf of Mexico. But there's no breakdown of illnesses possibly connected to exposure to oil or dispersants.

Many Spill Claims Remain Unpaid as BP Debates Escrow Account

As BP considers creating an escrow account to compensate those affected by the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the company says it has paid about half of the damage claims submitted so far.

Another (Sigh) Increase in Estimate of Oil Flow

The estimated size of the oil spill in the Gulf rises yet again, to 25,000 to 30,000 barrels a day. BP says it’s hard to measure flow, but in 2008, it touted technology that it said was accurate at doing so.

Experts: Gulf Workers' Levels of Chemical Exposure May Be 'Perfectly Legal, but Not Safe'

Federal standards on what a safe exposure to toxic chemicals constitutes vary by agency. And the legal standard, applied to workers in the Gulf oil spill, may not necessarily be safe, some experts say.

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

If you ask the CDC how many workers have been sickened while cleaning up the Gulf oil spill, CDC says to ask OSHA. OSHA says to ask BP. BP says to ask Unified Command, which hasn't yet responded to our requests.

Scientists Criticize BP's Claims About How Much Oil It's Siphoning

More scientists are expressing skepticism about BP's claim on how much oil it's recapturing. One said that the estimate that BP is capturing most of the oil "is going to be proven wrong in short order."

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

None of BP's documents and plans we've been able to find have details on how to deal with stopping a spill, and are limited to phrases like "Stop further pollution at the source," or "Identify and shut off the source as soon as possible, taking safety into account."

BP Refuses to Provide Oil Samples to Scientists Investigating Underwater Plumes

BP has refused to supply samples that would prove -- or disprove -- that underwater oil plumes are from the Deepwater Horizon site. The scientist who requested the sample called the refusal "a little unsettling."

As Oil Plumes Are Confirmed, Scientist Calculating Flow Rate Blasts BP

The U.S. has confirmed the existence of giant underwater oil plumes emanating from the BP spill, though at low concentrations, even as scientists remained frustrated at not being able to measure how much oil is still flowing.

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