In the middle of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A black coat of oil covers the Lebanese capital’s once-beautiful sandy Mediterranean shore, spilled from a power plant that was knocked down by Israeli warplanes two weeks ago.

Fishermen say hundreds of oil-coated fish have been washed ashore in what is the country’s worst ever environmental disaster.

About 80 miles of Lebanon’s shores had been affected by a spill of more than 110,000 barrels of oil from the Jiyeh plant, about 12 miles south of Beirut, the city’s mayor, Abdel Monem Ariss, said Friday. The plant was in flames after it was hit in Israeli air raids, cutting electricity to many areas in the capital and south Lebanon.

“Depending on how the wind is blowing, I think many shores will be soiled with this oil spill,” Ariss told the Associated Press.

Full article here.

Meanwhile:

WASHINGTON — The Energy Department is prepared to provide oil from the government’s emergency supplies if a refinery requests it because of the disruption of supplies from Alaska, a department spokesman said Monday.

“We’re taking a very serious look at this,” said spokesman Craig Stevens, referring to the loss of nearly half of oil shipments from Alaska’s North Slope because of a pipeline corrosion problem.

Stevens said the department will be in contact with BP Exploration Alaska Inc. and West Coast refiners later in Monday to assess the situation. “If there is a request for oil we’ll certainly take a serious look at that,” he said.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., often a critic of the administration’s energy policy, said: “This is the appropriate and right thing to do. We’re glad the White House’s reluctance to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to prevent price spikes seems to have dissipated.”

Full article here.