Oil still contaminating Gulf coast

Much of the crude still in the Gulf and coastal areas more than three months after BP‘s blowout has permeated deep into marshes and wetlands, complicating cleanup. Crews are still finding plenty of crude in those interior areas, even as government officials say spotting oil from the air on the Gulf’s surface is taking longer on each trip. “The good news is people are seeing less oil, but the bad news is the oil trapped in the marshes is moving out with the tides and sticking on the marsh cane,” said Maura Wood, an oceanographer with the National Wildlife Foundation,
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Is the oil spill over?

No more oil is likely to leak into the Gulf of Mexico now that efforts to plug the blown-out well are succeeding, the government’s point man on the spill declared Wednesday. A relieved President Barack Obama said the fight to stop the leak is “finally close to coming to an end.” At the White House, National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen said oil company BP‘s effort to plug the leak was progressing, giving officials “high confidence” that there will soon be no more oil leaking into the environment. The upbeat assessment came as a government report released Wednesday said only
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Embattled BP boss steps down

BP boss Tony Hayward will step down as head of the troubled oil giant, the company said Tuesday, after his heavily criticised handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill made him a target of US fury. The group also revealed in a statement that the devastating spill is forecast to cost it 32.2 billion dollars (24.7 billion euros), helping push it to a major loss of 16.9 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2010. “BP today announced that, by mutual agreement with the BP board, Tony Hayward is to step down as group chief executive with effect from
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Feds, BP fight over next step

BP and the Obama administration offered significantly differing views Sunday on whether the capped Gulf of Mexico oil well will have to be reopened, a contradiction that may be an effort by the oil giant to avoid blame if crude starts spewing again. Pilloried for nearly three months as it tried repeatedly to stop the leak, BP PLC capped the nearly mile-deep well Thursday and wants to keep it that way. The government’s plan, however, is to eventually pipe oil to the surface, which would ease pressure on the fragile well but would require up to three more days of
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Oil leak plugged…for now

Now the wait begins. BP has finally gained control over one of America’s biggest environmental catastrophes by placing a carefully fitted cap over a runaway geyser that has been gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico since early spring. Engineers, politicians and Gulf residents will watch anxiously over the next day and a half to see if it holds. After nearly three months and up to 184 million gallons, the accomplishment was greeted with hope, high expectations — and, in many cases along the beleaguered coastline, disbelief. But no one is declaring victory just yet. The next hours will be
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Another glitch in oil spill drama

The plan to start choking off oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico was suddenly halted as government officials and BP said further analysis must be done Wednesday before critical tests could proceed. No explanation was given for the decision, and no date was set for when testing would begin on the new, tighter-fitting cap BP installed on the blown-out well Monday. In the meantime, oil continued spewing into the Gulf. The oil giant had been scheduled to start slowly shutting off valves Tuesday on the cap, aiming to stop the flow of oil for the first time in three
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BP claims progress; Gulf waits and hopes

Underwater robots steadily assembled heavy metal pieces Monday as BP prepared to install a tighter cap over its busted well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, offering hopeful signs that it could soon bring the gusher under control. The oil giant said it was ahead of its schedule to get the new, better cap in place. Once the cap is in place and working properly, officials hoped it would capture all of the oil spewing out of the well and that it can all be funneled to containment ships at the surface. “The hope is that we can
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New attempt to cap oil leak

Undersea robots manipulated by engineers a mile above will begin work Saturday removing the containment cap over the gushing well head in the Gulf of Mexico, the first part of a plan that could lead to the containment of all the oil as soon as Monday. The leak will get worse before it gets better. When the cap is removed, oil will flow mostly unabated into the water for about 48 hours, when a new, more tight-fitting cap can be installed. The well would still be busted and leaking — workers will funnel what comes out of it to tankers
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Oil spill drenches Obama’s approval rating

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill piled pressure on Barack Obama on Thursday as the hurricane season closed in and voters angry at his crisis management hammered the president in a poll rating. BP was able to restart one of its containment operations on Wednesday after a delay caused by an undersea collision of equipment, and coastal fishermen, cut off for weeks from the rich Gulf fishing grounds, were allowed back in some waters. But weather changes could hamper clean-up efforts and make collecting the spewing crude more difficult. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said a tropical wave to the
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Obama tries to refocus on jobs, economy

President Barack Obama launched a push on Friday ahead of congressional elections to refocus on economic recovery efforts that have been overshadowed by the BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Traveling to the recession-battered Midwest, Obama kicked off what the White House has billed as a six-week drive to promote his administration’s economic stimulus plan and job policies. With public anxiety over the fragile economy threatening Obama’s Democrats in November’s congressional elections, gaining traction for his domestic agenda could be critical. Republicans are aiming to take control of Congress from the Democrats. Obama touted the $787 billion
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