Oil Industry’s Environmental Risks Are Subject of Studies and Protests

A research initiative financed by the oil and gas giant BP as part of its compensation for the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has awarded $112-million in additional grants to experts at dozens of universities, including some whose professors were critical of BP’s initial response to the spill. At the same time, another university expert, Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College, has been leading two weeks of protests outside the White House that have led to nearly 600 arrests of activists trying to prevent the construction of an oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast region from Canada. The possibility of a spill that could cause severe environmental damage is one of the concerns opponents have raised.

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