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  1. BP’s Morbid “Three Little Piggies” Memo

    As if BP needed any more bad press: The Daily Beast has obtained a jaw-dropping internal memo from the oil giant that effectively prices the lives of its workers using a "Three Little Piggies" analogy. The gist of it is that while it's worth it to build a more wolf-resistant, less vulnerable house for a little piggy up to a point, it ceases to be worth doing when the 'house' gets too expensive.

    The document -- which is several old -- gives credence to the claims of BP critics who charge that the company values cost-savings over safety. The lawyer who released the memo claims that BP's Risk Management office at the time valued the lives of its workers at $10 million apiece.

    In 2005, 15 workers were killed and 170 people injured when a BP refinery exploded, and the 'blast resistant' language of the document becomes considerably less cutesy when you consider that BP allegedly killed the option of housing workers in blast-resistant buildings which might have saved their lives because they thought the buildings were too expensive. More recently, a $500,000 safety valve, had it been in place, could have prevented the devastation of the Gulf oil spill.

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  2. BP Oil Spill: Cake Edition

    One Breaux Mart grocery store in Louisiana was spotted carrying this darkly comedic political statement of a cake. (This has got to be the only time anyone has ever written "darkly comedic political statement of a cake." --Ed.) Bearing a sign that reads "Thank You BP!" it depicts dark, shiny oil-frosting encroaching upon shiny blue water-frosting at the shore of the grass-frostinged plain, while clouds of Oreo, whipped cream, and cherry look helplessly on.

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  3. Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak Ten Times Worse than Previously Thought

    Yet more bad news about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak: The amount of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico is more than ten times greater than previously thought, according to a recent analysis.

    Recently, BP succumbed to mounting pressure to release their underwater video of the leak so outside experts could use it to make estimates. NPR took them up on it: they assembled a group of experts to analyze the video. Their conclusion? The oil leak is already far worse than the Exxon Valdez: Whereas the official estimate pegs the BP leak at 5,000 barrels a day, NPR's analysis concludes that 70,000 barrels have been leaking each day, plus or minus 20 percent.

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  4. How Much Oil Are We Losing in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?

    It's a well-documented point of modern psychology that people tend to have a hard time wrapping their heads around very large numbers -- for instance, really knowing what a million means versus a billion -- and the vastness of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill tests our comprehension. What, for instance, does it mean that 2500 square miles of ocean surface are currently covered with oil, or that under the worst case scenario, we'll lose 1.8 million barrels? In short, how much oil are we losing, in terms we can understand? Two people have given us tools to help visualize these vast amounts. Google engineer Paul Rademacher, who started the Google Earth browser plug-in and currently works as a Google Maps engineering manager, has harnessed the power of Google Maps to illustrate how much oil was lost in terms of familiar cities: In the graphic above, you can see the DC metropolitan area, and other overlays include New York, San Francisco, and London. You can check out his map tool here. Information is Beautiful's David McCandless has given us another, after the jump, which further underscores what the oil loss means in terms of the world's oil consumption and our remaining oil reserves.

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  5. Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico May Be Five Times Worse than Thought [Satellite Pictures]

    The oil spill that, for more than a week now, has been growing in the Gulf of Mexico is getting worse and five times faster than originally estimated. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now saying, after closer investigation, that the spill that started with the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig is leaking oil at a rate of 5000 barrels per day, versus the original estimate of 1000 barrels a day. While that doesn't put the spill on the scale of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, it has already reached and exceeded the size of Rhode Island. That's not some past oil spill that happened in Rhode Island, mind you; that's the actual U.S. state.

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