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Monday, 31st May 2010

Resource of the Week: Hub -- Disaster in the Gulf

Resource of the Week: Public Policy Matters: Disaster in the Gulf
By Shirl Kennedy, Senior Editor

Public Policy Matters is a subscription-based daily service that comes in handy as an alert mechanism for the types of reports that we like to post on DocuTicker.

Every night, our team of associate editors visit more than 2,300 websites which are maintained by the federal government, the Supreme Court and the 12 appeals courts, the U.S. Congress, and an expansive array of public policy organizations. We collect links for newly posted press releases, statements, reports, court decisions, and other items which relate to newsworthy public policy issues, assemble them onto a single webpage, and distribute our daily webpage to our users.

Note that you can try the service free for four weeks; just click on the blue icon on the right-hand side of the page.

Recently, Public Policy Matters put together a useful free service, Disaster in the Gulf, which is a one-stop shopping roundup of "official" information related to the BP oil spill.

Press releases and statements that have been collected by Public Policy Matters since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig have been assembled here to assist journalists who are preparing news articles about the disaster and BP's and the federal government's responses.

The explosion has created one of the worst environmental disasters in history, rivaling Hurricanes Katrina and Ike in its damaging scope. Millions of barrels of raw oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico and is now despoiling pristine Gulf Coast beaches, is utterly destroying the region's economy which relies heavily on tourism and commercial fishing, and is killing the region's wildlife and fragile ecosystems.

While created primarily for journalists, who make up the bulk of the service's subscribers, the document links collected here would be of interest to anyone concerned with this horrible ecological disaster. You can peruse:

  • Statements from the White House
  • Statements from other Executive departments -- e.g., Interior, Commerce, Homeland Security, Defense, etc.
  • Statements from independent government agencies -- e.g., Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation
  • Press releases from individual senators and representatives, and congressional committees
  • Press releases and reports from various interest groups -- e.g., Friends of the Earth, Sunlight Foundation, Audubon Society, Taxpayers for Common Sense

Other recent oil spill-related posts on ResourceShelf include:
+ Congressional Research Service -- Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
+ Live Video Stream: Underwater Oil Spill Webcam
+ New Satellite Imagery from NASA and NOAA of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Oil Slick
+ Database: Oil Spills Since 2000 (U.S.)
+ Resources: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Maps and Information; Material Also via Twitter and Facebook
+ New Resource Guide From the National Library of Medicine - Crude Oil Spills and Human Health


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