WASHINGTON (AP) — The key last-ditch safety device that failed to prevent the 2010 BP oil spill remains a potentially catastrophic problem today for some offshore drilling, according to a federal safety board investigation.
The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board details the multiple failures and improper testing of the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations for the breakdown. They found faulty wiring, a dead battery and a bent pipe in the hulking device.
"The problems with this blowout preventer were worse than we understood," safety board managing director Daniel Horowitz said in an interview. "And there are still hazards out there that need to be improved if we are to prevent this from happening again."
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The owners of the blown-out Macondo well cannot avoid federal fines for the 2010 oil spill by blaming another company's failed equipment, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The oil came from a well owned by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., so they are liable, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said. It upheld a 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who has scheduled a trial in January to help decide how much the oil giant owes in federal Clean Water Act penalties.
"We hope the court's decision will be one more step toward reaching a just conclusion for the American people," U.S. Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said in an email.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's health agency said Wednesday there's no long-term health risk from swimming and fishing in the Kalamazoo River, the site of one of the costliest onshore oil spills in U.S. history.
The state Department of Community Health said it finalized its public health assessment of the July 2010 incident. A pipeline operated by Enbridge Inc. ruptured and spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties.
The state said there's no long-term harm to people's health from coming into contact with chemicals in the river's surface water during wading, swimming or canoeing. But contact with oil sheen in the river may cause temporary effects such as skin irritation.
Crystal Lani Kitt was arrested Tuesday on charges stemming from a Mobile, Ala. indictment, alleging that she helped prepare more than 100 fake claims for compensation stemming from the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico totaling more than $900,000, AL.com reports.
Louisiana lawyers have filed papers requesting Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia throw out BP’s request for a halt on payments it’s had to make as a result of the 2010 Gulf oil spill until the court has a chance to decide whether it will take up a wider dispute over the settlement, FuelFix reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC must resume paying claims while it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review its settlement with businesses over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court panel said Wednesday.
The 2-1 judgment said the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will not stop payments while BP appeals the court's earlier ruling that businesses, under the settlement, don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.
BP will ask the Supreme Court to review Wednesday's ruling, company spokesman Geoff Morrell said in an emailed statement.
There was supposed to be a partnership vote this weekend to seal the proposed merger between Washington law firm Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders, but that was put on hold after a motion was filed Wednesday challenging a settlement Patton Boggs reached with Chevron over a case involving damage to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, The New York Times reports.
BP looks to be facing a class action suit from investors over allegations the company was misleading about the quantity of oil its blown-out Macondo well was sending into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, following a judge’s ruling Tuesday, FuelFix reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC said Wednesday it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether businesses must prove they were directly harmed by the 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect payments from a 2012 settlement.
The announcement came two days after judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 8-5 against reconsidering the issue. A three-judge panel of the circuit court in March had upheld a district court ruling that businesses did not need to prove direct harm.
The ongoing fight over compensation between Citgo – convicted on charges under the Clean Air Act -- and residents near one of its Corpus Christi refineries raises questions about whether laws really protect victims of environmental crimes, one of the lawyers in the case told National Journal.
Dominion Resources has filed papers with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asking for a start to the review process for the proposed 550-mile natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline, The Associated Press reports.
Federal agencies have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent compared to levels in 2008, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, but they also remain vulnerable to the effects of climate change in different ways, National Journal reports.
As part of their fight to become the top-ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Rep Anna Eshoo of California have raised and distributed more than $1.2 million to their colleagues during this election cycle, National Journal reports.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working on a technique using lasers that would more accurately measure greenhouse gas concentrations, E&E reports.
News of production increases in the U.S. and among OPEC members weighed on oil prices Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery finished the Nymex session down 58 cents to $80.54 a barrel, a drop of 12 percent over the whole of October, while in London Brent lost 38 cents to settle at $85.86, Bloomberg reports.
Increased demand is leading SolarWorld Americas to spend $10 million expanding its solar modules plant, and the company announced it will be hiring 200 additional workers as well, The New York Times reports.
To encourage the development of advanced nuclear reactors – anticipated to be more efficient – the Department of Energy is spending $13 million to help major companies including AREVA, GE Hitachi and Westinghouse in their research of the technology, The Hill reports.