Government Policies

BP’s new nightmare: did they trade a terrorist for oil rights?

BP’s new nightmare: did they trade a terrorist for oil rights? BP may have successfully capped the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but they may have an even bigger problem ahead. Several US lawmakers have petitioned the State Department to investigate whether there is a link between the release of the Lockerbie bomber and BP’s offshore drilling rights in Libya.

Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was found guilty of murder due to his involvement in the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am flight 103. In 2001 he was sentenced to a minimum of twenty years due to the “horrendous nature” of the crime that killed 259 passengers and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.

Top chefs back Gulf Coast seafood as BP Oil spill continues

Top chefs back Gulf Coast seafood as BP Oil spill continues Knowing where your food comes from is a popular topic among chefs. They want to know exactly where their potatoes were dug up from and if their beef was fed grass rather than corn. So, it’s no wonder that many chefs are wondering about seafood from the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP Oil spill. A group of chefs including Chicago’s Rick Tramonto and Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio decided that they needed first hand knowledge of the situation.

The duo were joined by a number of chefs including Susur Lee and sustainable seafood advocate Rick Moonen in Louisiana last week. Their aim was to get as much information from local and federal officials on the safety of the seafood so they could educate their diners who had been asking a lot of questions.

LEED certification neglects health of residents

LEED certification neglects health of residentsNo man is an island and, increasingly, no house stands alone. It hardly helps to have solar panels on your rooftop if the surrounding buildings blot out the sun. Several organizations have partnered up to expand LEED certification and examine the way structures and spaces fit together as a whole. LEED certification, however, ultimately falls short in measuring a building's safety for human habitation.

Supplier gets nailed for millions in Chinese drywall trial

Supplier gets nailed in $2.4 million Chinese drywall trial Families in Virginia and the Gulf Coast have been dealing with a dangerous problem in the form of Chinese drywall. Like many, Armin and Lisa Seifart discovered that their home was built using the defective product and decided to remove it and investigate their legal options. They took their Miami based drywall supplier to court and won $2.4 million.

Shrek glasses pulled from McDonald’s over cadmium fear

Shrek glasses pulled from McDonald’s over cadmium fearSince 1955, McDonald’s has served up burgers in a fun atmosphere that’s suitable for all ages. Their Playland areas, mascots, and movie tie-in’s have been a huge draw for families. A recall notice issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for McDonald’s “Shrek Forever After” glasses may tarnish their sterling reputation with parents. 

The Shrek glasses went on sale on May 21st and featured designs of the main characters such as Donkey, Princess Fiona, Puss n’ Boots, and Shrek. At least seven million of the $1.99 glasses have been sold so far in the US and 1.4 million in Canada. 

Scots want to “trip up” Donald Trump’s new golf course

Scots want to “trip up” Donald Trump’s new golf course Donald Trump isn’t known as America’s sweetheart. He lives large, whether it be traveling on his private jet or running his mouth to any media outlet within ear shot. The golf loving tycoon may have met his match in a group called “Tripping Up Trump” that wants to stop the construction of his massive golf course in Scotland.

Trump began his quest to build the golf course back in 2006 and settled on the Menie Estate in Scotland. The area is home to a lush countryside and the Menie Dunes that border the North Sea. According to the Times, the development would feature an “18-hole course, a clubhouse, driving range, practice area, 450-bedroom hotel, 950 holiday apartments, 36 golf villas and 500 residential homes.”

The new GM posts a profit! Thanks to ideas like the Chevy Volt

The new GM posts a profit, thanks to cars like the Chevy Volt Why did GM recently close several of its manufacturing facilities and accept $50 billion from the United States Federal Government? Because it was losing money as quickly as the BP oil leak is polluting the Gulf of Mexico. GM’s solution was to spin off loads of its debt through a bankruptcy agreement and emerge on the other side in the fast lane toward profitability. Many critics believed that it was a mistake for the Federal Government to step in on GM’s behalf but almost in symbolic spite of those naysayers the company just announced a quarterly profit.

A profit to the tune of $865 million, which looks like a sign that some of GM’s changes are making an impact on the bottom line. Before the restructure, North American markets were draining GM’s cash stores as it tried to continue meeting commitments to retirees with good benefits packages. The broader economy also played a role as well as GM’s dogged focus on large, inefficient SUVs.

Holland and Belgium’s World Cup pitch focuses on green

Holland & Belgium’s World Cup pitch focuses on green In a few short weeks fans will pour into South African cities to experience the world’s biggest sporting event, the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Whether you call it soccer or football, the World Cup is big business for the host nation and sadly a big producer of carbon emissions. Holland and Belgium teamed up in hopes that a green spin on geography and clean transportation will land them the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Because of the sheer scope of the World Cup, transportation is often an issue. Fans dying to see their nation compete rely on rail, air, and car to get to the host country. One study estimates that travel related carbon emissions for fans and teams going to South Africa will be 1,856,589 tons. 

BP oil leak cleanup cost $350 mil so far + a world of outrage

BP oil leak cleanup cost $350 mil so far + a world of outrage For 3 weeks now BP has tried to stop an oil leak that began with an explosion on its Maconda well in the Gulf of Mexico. For 3 weeks, oil has spilled into the ocean at a rate of about 5,000 barrels per day. Not only is it devastating the environment surrounding the oil leak and causing economic repercussions for people who live and work on the coast, it’s also a monumental waste of unrealized energy.

With the fail-safes it had in place defunct and ineffective, BP is now flailing to figure out another way to contain the oil leak. Executive Officer of BP, Tony Hayward has indicated that the company already spent $350 million in trying to cleanup and stop the oil leak, but that’s miniscule compared to the gaping wound this circumstance has left in the Earth which is at the same time destroying the BP brand.

5,000 barrels of oil spill per day make deep sea mining questionable

5,000 barrels of oil spill per day make deep sea mining questionable Millions of barrels of oil have already spilled into the ocean and 5,000 more barrels billow upward from a hole in the seabed BP drilled and now can’t close. Deep sea oil drilling sounds like a good concept in theory but just like with many other energy generation processes, it poses risks. The exact cause of the explosion that caused this mess is not yet known, but the degenerating effects on the waters and coasts nearby is rapidly magnifying.

It’s a life changing event for local fishermen who rely on clear waters and healthy ecosystem to generate their faire. The tourism industry in general will also suffer because for the most part tourists generally prefer oil-free beaches.