NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The 2010 BP oil spill's long-term effects on Gulf of Mexico sea life and coastal marshes remain uncertain, an environmental expert testified Wednesday as federal attorneys laid out their case for penalties against the oil corporation that could hit $13.7 billion.
Donald Boesch, a professor at the University of Maryland, testified for the Justice Department, which is pressing for high penalties against the oil giant. Aside from the obvious harm — among his examples were oiled wildlife, fouled coastal marshes and damage to mangroves — Boesch recounted potential harm to sea life populations based on the effect of oil on microbes at the bottom of the natural food chain.
GLENDIVE, Mont. (AP) — Authorities were scrambling to decontaminate a water treatment plant serving 6,000 eastern Montana residents after a cancer-causing component of oil was found downstream of a Yellowstone River pipeline spill.
Up to 50,000 gallons of crude were released in Saturday's spill.
In his first month in charge of the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division, Assistant Attorney General John Cruden is overseeing the prosecution in the third phase of the trial over BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, NPR reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Images of oil-coated birds and testimony about "widespread sociocultural harm" opened the third phase of a trial to establish penalties BP must pay under the federal Clean Water Act for spilling millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The government wants the oil giant to pay another $13.7 billion for harming not just the birds and fish, but the business climate and social fabric of coastal communities.
GLENDIVE, Mont. (AP) — Truckloads of drinking water were being shipped to the eastern Montana city of Glendive on Monday after traces of a major oil spill along the Yellowstone River were detected in public water supplies, raising concerns about a potential health risk.
Preliminary tests at the city's water treatment plant indicated that at least some oil got into a water supply intake along the river, according to state and federal officials. About 6,000 people are served by the intake, Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison said.
Anadarko Petroleum, which wasn’t blamed for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico although it owned a quarter of the Macondo well that blew, is still liable for penalties under the Clean Water Act, a possibility the company will fight in court in a trial that gets underway Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Crews worked Monday to clean up crude oil that spilled in and near the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana while officials with Bridger Pipeline LLC tried to determine what caused the weekend breach.
Bridger has said the break in the 12-inch steel pipe happened Saturday morning in an area about 9 miles upstream from Glendive. Bridger spokesman Bill Salvin said Monday that the company is confident that no more than 1,200 barrels — or 50,000 gallons — of oil spilled during the hour-long breach.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge determined Thursday that more oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico following a rig explosion in 2010 than BP estimated, a decision that could potentially cost the London-based oil giant more than $13 billion in one of America's worst environmental disasters.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled that 3.19 million barrels were discharged into the Gulf after a rig explosion at BP's Macondo well. The number is more than the 2.4 million barrel figure BP had argued for and less than the government's estimate of about 4.2 million. The government figure could have meant $18 billion in maximum penalties under the Clean Water Act.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has determined that 3.19 million barrels of oil was discharged into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 as a result of a rig explosion at BP's Macondo well. This is less than government estimates of about 4.2 million, but more than the 2.4 million barrel figure BP had argued for.
Thursday's finding by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier sets the stage for next week's trial to determine BP's Clean Water Act penalties. The government has argued that the oil giant should pay as much as $4,300 per barrel spilled, which could mean in excess of $13 billion in penalties. BP argues that the per-barrel penalty should be less.
The deadlines for meeting the goals in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan don’t represent a glide path, but “a cliff,” an executive with a Phoenix-area utility told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during a regional meeting intended to gather feedback, E&E reports.
Moves to develop carbon capture technology would get a boost from legislation introduced Thursday by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., which designates more Energy Department funding for research and also offers incentives for those who adopt so-called “clean coal” technology, The Hill reports.
Three senior House Republicans, including Energy and Commerce chair Rep. Fred Upton, have sent a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, demanding to know whether his department was planning any use for Yucca Mountain other than accepting nuclear waste, E&E reports.
Fracking opponents have filed a petition with Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., demanding that he ban hydraulic fracturing in the state because of the threat the practice poses to health and safety, The Hill reports.
The cleanup costs to states for abandoned wells – a burden they’re not well equipped to take on – could skyrocket as lower oil prices take some of the steam out of the shale drilling boom, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A natural Pacific Ocean cooling cycle has helped to keep global warming in check over the past decade, say researchers writing in the journal Science, but they warn that warming is likely to accelerate again once the cycle finishes, Reuters reports.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, threw a snowball at the Senate's presiding officer as he gave a speech criticizing what he called the “hysteria” over climate change, National Journal reports.
The letters sent to universities by Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, asking about funding sources for researchers’ climate studies, has generated criticism and protest from academics, National Journal reports.
Jim Gordon, president of the stalled offshore project Cape Wind, has offered praise for the push to get a wind power coalition off the ground, and also backed a measure introduced in the state legislature that would require utilities to buy certain quantities of wind and hydropower, WWLP reports.