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OFFSHORE DRILLING:

Former Obama official, environmentalist bash lack of post-spill reforms

The United States risks another massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico if the Interior Department fails to update offshore safety rules, particularly regulations governing blowout preventers, a former Obama administration regulator and an environmentalist warned today.

Elizabeth Birnbaum, who led the Minerals Management Service in the several months leading up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010, today blasted the Obama administration in an op-ed in The New York Times co-authored by Jacqueline Savitz of the environmental group Oceana.

GULF OF MEXICO:

La. Republicans say Obama admin. ‘denying’ state oil spill recovery funds

Louisiana Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of denying their state recovery funds related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In the wake of the spill, Congress passed the RESTORE Act to send 80 percent of the civil fines related to the disaster to the five Gulf states. The law stipulated how the dollars are to be distributed, but it tasked the Treasury Department with developing procedures for how the money was to be handled. Under the act, those rules were due January 2, 2013.

GULF OF MEXICO:

Wildlife, ecosystems still feeling impacts of Deepwater Horizon spill -- report

Four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and spewing more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, dolphins, sea turtles, birds and other species are still feeling the effects, according to a summary report released by the National Wildlife Federation today.

Federal scientists have been collecting troves of data about the oil spill and its impacts on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems, but most of that information is being closely held while the government pursues its case against BP PLC.

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About this report

The sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst oil spill in U.S. history. E&E examines the response to the spill, the politics of offshore drilling, and the aftermath for Gulf species and industries.

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Response