Enviro Links: House Panel Blocks BP Leases, Mystery Sea Turtle Deaths, and More

| Thu Jul. 15, 2010 6:19 AM PDT

Today in oil disaster news:

Officials gave the go-ahead last night to begin tests on the new containment cap, which BP hopes will collect far more oil than the old cap.

The House Natural Resources Committee approved a bill to create yet another oil spill commission. The Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources Act also sets up new regulations on the oil and gas industry.

That committee also approved an amendment from Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) that would bar companies with a history of safety violations from obtaining new leases, which of course is bad news for BP.

Regulators are asking banks to cut Gulf Coast residents affected by the oil spill some slack, reports The Hill.

Oil has hit Louisiana's largest sea bird nesting area, covering 300 to 400 pelicans and hundreds of terns in crude.

The New York Times reports that many of the autopsies on dead animals found in the Gulf are inconclusive, as many of the victims aren't showing obvious signs of oil contamination.

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