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Thanks to the dreaded sequester cuts, the nation's habitat will take a sizable hit as the development of clean energy is set back and 8,400 meat inspectors are furloughed. The oil industry, however, emerges as a victor as it gets to keep its billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies while the EPA sees its funding for monitoring and cleanup reduced, Mother Jones reports.

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U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who will ultimately put a price tag on the worst oil spill in American history if the many lawsuits against BP go to trial, has given the oil giant and its many, many plaintiffs another week to reach a settlement.

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This year was a game-changer, and what we need is a game-changer list. On that kind of list, I would drop one-off sensations, beginning with the oil spill, the Haitian earthquake and the mine rescue. No. 1 would be WikiLeaks.

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Three of four tests showed that the cement mixture used by Halliburton in the construction of BP's ill-fated oil well in the Gulf was unstable, but the mixture was used anyway, a presidential commission investigating the disaster has found. The only successful test, which BP did not know about, has since come under suspicion.

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