Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Interior Issues Directive Strengthening Blowout Prevention Requirements for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
Washington, DC - As part of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar's continuing agenda to strengthen safety and oversight of offshore oil and gas operations, the Department of the Interior today issued a directive to oil and gas lessees and operators requiring them, when they file for a new drilling permit, exploration plan, or development plan, to submit information that addresses the possibility of a blowout and details steps they are taking to prevent blowouts.
The directive reverses a policy adopted in 2003 and included in a 2008 “Notice to Lessees” under the previous Administration that exempted many offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico from submitting certain information – to accompany exploration or development plans – about a blowout scenario and worst-case discharge.
“The BP oil spill has laid bare fundamental shortcomings in the oil and gas industry's ability to prevent and stop catastrophic blowouts,” said Secretary Salazar. “While the challenges of intervening in a catastrophic blowout are significantly greater in deepwater than in shallow water, all operators should provide basic information about potential blowouts, and steps that are being taken to reduce the possibility of a blow out."
Added Salazar, “this is basic information that applicants should be able to provide; it should not delay permitting of appropriate shallow water drilling."
The Notice to Lessees (“Blowout Scenario NTL”) requires oil and gas operators to submit information for Exploration Plans (EP), Development and Production Plans (DPP) and Development Operations Coordination Documents (DOCD) that includes:
An estimated flow rate, total volume, and maximum duration of the potential blowout;
A discussion of the potential for the well to bridge over, the likelihood for surface intervention to stop the blowout, the availability of a rig to drill a relief well, and rig package constraints;
Estimates of the time it would take to contract for a rig, move it onsite, and drill a relief well; and
A description of the assumption and calculations used to determine the volume of a worst case discharge scenario.
The Blowout Scenario NTL is the latest in a series of reforms to the oversight and management of offshore energy resources and activities, including:
Postponing consideration of potential exploratory drilling in the Arctic.
Secretary Salazar said that the Department of the Interior, together with the Council on Environmental Quality, is also conducting a review of the Minerals Management Service's procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act.
On June 2, the Department of the Interior announced that offshore lessees and operators in federal waters would be required to submit additional safety and environmental information for exploration and development plans. The Blowout Scenario NTL and NTL No. 2010-N05, Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the OCS formally require offshore lessees and operators to submit the additional information required. As a result of ongoing investigations and safety and environmental reviews, Interior may issue further notices to lessees requiring additional information for exploration or development plans.