Congress confronts oil executives over lack of oil spill plans

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) pounced on oil executives today with charges that all the big oil firms have nearly identical outdated emergency spill plans that reference “identical ineffective equipment.”

The plans, like the one used by BP for gulf drilling that references how to save walruses and lists a long-dead expert to call upon, reflect the industry’s inattention to the possibility of a major oil spill in the gulf or anyway.

Against oil odds, Houston races to a greener future

The Bayou City -- Greener than you think (Photo: Green Right Now)

The Bayou City -- greener than you think (Photo: Green Right Now)


Driving around Houston, or idling in traffic on one of the city’s big expanses of highway, it’s hard to think of the nation’s oil capital as a green city. Like other sprawling Sunbelt meccas built on the assumption that roads were forever, the city deals with intense traffic-related pollution. It’s known in the parlance of the EPA as a “non-attainment” metro area for its inability to meet healthy air quality targets. It can mount a hazy skyline to rival L.A.’s and it’s got the added burden of benzene and other toxics wafting in from nearby oil refineries. And still, the petrol city gets that it is a new greener day in America.