The Gulf of Mexico has always been an oily place. Early sea captains wrote in their log books of slicks of oil. Mayan Indians used natural tars to seal their water jugs and waterproof their canoes. As many as 50…

A pelican rests on an oil retention boom on July 25, 2010 near Grand Isle, Louisiana. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images. Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced a major lawsuit against BP, Transocean and other…

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