NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has indefinitely delayed the trial of a former BP executive accused of lying to Congress in 2010 about the amount of oil that was spewing from the company's blown-out well.
Trial had been scheduled March 10 for David Rainey, who was BP's vice president of exploration for the Gulf of Mexico when the well blew wild in April 2010, causing 200 million gallons of oil to spill over a couple months.
Rainey was charged with obstructing Congress and lying to law enforcement agents by failing to disclose internal information from BP PLC indicating that the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico could be far higher than the estimates being made publicly.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge refused Wednesday to halt payments from a BP fund to compensate deckhands and other seafood workers harmed financially by the 2010 Gulf oil spill, turning back arguments by the oil giant that the payment process was tainted by a lawyer's alleged fraud.
BP argues the $2.3 billion it agreed to put into the oil spill seafood compensation fund was inflated, based on the belief that Texas attorney Mikal Watts represented more than 40,000 clients.
BP claims that more than half of the Social Security numbers on Watts' client list were fake. Watts' attorney has denied that Watts committed fraud.
The weekend barge crash that caused an oil spill and shut down the Mississippi River to shipping is just the latest in a serious of incidents that illustrate the challenge of getting transportation to keep up with the ever-growing production of crude, Bloomberg reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard reopened a normally bustling stretch of the lower Mississippi River to ships and boaters Monday, two days after an oil spill closed the major inland waterway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
About 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled into the river after a tank barge pushed by the towboat Hannah C. Settoon collided with another towboat Saturday afternoon, officials said.
At least 30 vessels had been waiting for the river to reopen, Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew Schofield said of the spill near Vacherie, about 50 west of New Orleans by land. No one was hurt, all vessels were subsequently secured and there were no reports of any wildlife harmed by spilled oil, the Coast Guard said.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard has reopened all of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, though ships and other vessels must pass slowly near the site of a weekend oil spill.
About 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled into the river after a tank barge hit a towboat Saturday afternoon.
Petty Officer Matthew Schofield says the last 25-mile stretch downriver from the accident site was opened Monday afternoon. Forty miles from New Orleans toward Baton Rouge were opened earlier in the day.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River remained closed at New Orleans on Monday following a weekend collision that resulted in crude oil spilling from a barge.
Authorities involved in the cleanup and investigation planned a Monday morning conference call as they worked on estimates of how much oil spilled and when the river would re-open, a Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer Bill Colclough, said.
At last count Sunday night, the river closure affected 26 vessels — 16 waiting to go downriver and 10 waiting to go upriver.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP is pressing a federal court to disallow a $7.9 million Gulf oil spill claim awarded to a Louisiana law firm.
Friday's filing in New Orleans was a fresh development in a series of disputes involving the Andry Law Firm, BP and former FBI director Louis Freeh. Freeh was appointed last year to investigate the claims process.
In a report last September, Freeh said he found evidence that attorney Jon Andry and others tried to corrupt the settlement process, using a lawyer on the staff of claims administrator Patrick Juneau.
A meeting next month will set the ground rules for the penalty phase of the BP spill trial, a judge ordered Wednesday, and FuelFix reports that court filings appear to indicate that the company is arguing against prosecutor's attempts to set limits on it.
University of Maryland researchers said in a study that BP's "Beyond Petroleum" campaign, advertising the company as environmentally friendly, resonated with U.S. consumers, and regions with heavy advertisement were less likely to stop buying BP products in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf spill, FuelFix reports.
Increased fuel efficiency standards, a major component of President Obama’s plan to fight climate change that he touted in last week's State of the Union address, could be threatened by continued low gasoline prices that encourage consumers to return to buying gas guzzling vehicles, National Journal reports.
Newly elected Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, has talked about spending cuts and hinted at possible new taxes to fill the gaping hole left in the state’s budget by the collapse of oil prices, but a Republican-controlled legislature filled with allies of Sean Parnell, the man he defeated in the November election, may make getting approval for his policy changes difficult, if not impossible, The New York Times reports.
The assurances of Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman that he would maintain the country’s course regarding oil saw an easing in prices early Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery dropped 49 cents to $45.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent fell 63 cents to $48.16, Reuters reports.
CEO G. Steven Farris is retiring at Apache Corp. -- although regulatory filings indicate he will receive his $1.75 million base salary and other payments over the next three years – and is being replaced by company veteran John Christmann, while former BP executive Stephen Riney will be CFO, FuelFix reports.
The president of Solar Vision has told WOSU public radio that his business has been affected by the state’s move to freeze renewable energy targets, something that the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Initiative had predicted would happen.
Technological advances combined with new financial incentives will give a big boost to energy storage in the coming years, an essential element as renewable energy makes up a growing share of the nation’s power supply, NBC reports.
A planned visit by Pope Francis to the U.S. in the autumn, just months after he’s expected to issue an encyclical galvanizing Catholics to take steps against climate change, will likely intensify discussion on the issue, The Hill reports.
The prospect of fresh sanctions against Russia in the wake of a deadly missile attack in eastern Ukraine is being mentioned, although The Wall Street Journal reports that getting the U.S. and the European Union to agree on any would be a major challenge.