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Phase Two Of BP Trial Focuses On Amount Of Spilled Oil

National Public Radio: In a New Orleans court room this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. In 2010, after the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 workers, oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties. Attorneys for the U.S. government and for BP both told a federal judge in opening statements on Monday that they have...

Keystone Pipeline Becomes Hot-Button Election Issue

National Public Radio: President Obama rejected an application to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday. He blamed congressional Republicans, who had set a 60-day deadline for his administration to complete its review of the project. Just minutes after Obama issued a statement denying the permit, Republican members of Congress lined up before TV cameras. "I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that our president decided to put his politics above the nation," said Rep....

Japan Crisis Sparks Nuclear Waste Questions In U.S

National Public Radio: The nuclear crisis in Japan is prompting scrutiny of nuclear power plants in the U.S., leading to a decades-old question: What to do with all the spent nuclear fuel produced here? The law says the federal government is supposed to take nuclear waste off the hands of plant operators. The Department of Energy had planned to store it underground in Nevada at Yucca Mountain. But President Obama "” fulfilling a campaign promise "” put a stop to that controversial program, leaving the long-term storage...

Oil, Gas Firms Find It Harder To Drill On U.S. Land

National Public Radio: Since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the oil industry has complained loudly that the government is dragging its feet in approving new offshore drilling projects. Now the industry says that it's experiencing similar problems in the Rocky Mountains. There, companies bid for the right to drill for natural gas on federal land. In recent years, environmental groups have found they can slow down the boom-town pace of drilling by challenging those leases, as a way of protecting special places. It's...

Battle Heats Up Over Alaskan Petroleum Reserve

National Public Radio: The battle over whether oil companies should be allowed to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is nothing new -- but the fight over nearby public land called the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is. The NPRA is huge -- about the size of Indiana. Originally, it was set aside for the military, then in the 1970s it was reserved for domestic oil production. Today, there are a few native villages in the NPRA, and about 30 wells have been drilled there -- but it is mostly undisturbed....