Alabama BP oil spill

 State lawmakers ended the 2016 session with three big items of unfinished business: the oil spill settlement division; Medicaid funding and prison construction. 

Governor Robert Bentley recently said he's considering calling a special session later this year for another try.

The governor's $800 million prison construction plan was the centerpiece of his agenda, but didn't get approved by lawmakers.

It was on this date five years ago when a super tornado outbreak hit parts of west and west-central Alabama in 2011.

Over fifty people were killed in the city of Tuscaloosa and twelve percent of the town was destroyed. 

Tuscaloosa’s Acting Planning Director Phillip O’Leary spent the first hours after the tornado in his office. When he finally visited the damage zone, one thing stuck with him…

Gulf Coast officials are worried that their communities won't get their fair share of Alabama's $2.3 billion portion of the BP oil spill settlement.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft says members of the Gulf Coast Recovery Council have some unanswered questions about the settlement.

The plan would give the council control over $599 million, but about half of that spending would still require federal approval.

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, tourism hasn’t just recovered on the Gulf Coast – industry officials say it’s surging. They credit the response to that environmental disaster as part of the reason why.

BP spent more than $230 million promoting Gulf Coast tourism after the 2010 spill, and the company aired national commercials promoting the region for years.

Tourism hasn't only recovered on the Gulf Coast five years after the BP oil spill - industry officials say it's surging.

BP spent more than $230 million promoting tourism after the 2010 spill, and the company aired national commercials promoting the region for years.

Tourism officials say that publicity blitz boosted tourism to new levels even as questions remain about the spill's long-term environmental impact. Tourist spending has doubled in some areas since before the spill.

    

A federal judge will review an agreement to settle a desegregation case involving Huntsville city schools.

The school system and the Justice Department released the agreement on Monday. It's aimed at resolving disputes over the racial fairness of a student attendance plan devised last year.

The federal government objected to the plan arguing it didn't improve academic opportunities for black students.   The school system agrees to take several steps in the settlement, which follows mediation sessions.

telegraph.uk

State officials say they've gained approval for nearly $10 million in projects aimed at restoring Alabama's coastline after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday said $9.6 million for four Alabama projects has been approved by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. He said projects address conservation needs to restore some of Alabama's natural resources affected by the disaster.

Associated Press

A federal judge has rejected a call from BP to fire the administrator of damage claims arising from a settlement that followed the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued the ruling Monday, turning back BP's arguments that Patrick Juneau should be removed for a variety of reasons.

Among BP's reasons for seeking Juneau's ouster: They said Juneau once represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process and had pushed for favorable terms for those with claims; and that Juneau improperly expedited the processing of some claims.

Associated Press

Lawyers for Gulf Coast businesses and residents who say they were financially harmed by the 2010 BP oil spill are fighting the oil giant's efforts to remove the administrator of a damage claims settlement arising from the disaster.

BP had filed a federal court motion in September saying Patrick Juneau should be removed. Among the reasons: They said Juneau once represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process and had pushed for favorable terms for those with claims.

The Associated Press

Federal prosecutors say three people have been convicted of fraudulently filing Gulf Oil Spill Fund loss claims.

Officials say 53-year-old Marcella Truss, her 42-year-old husband Martee Davis and the woman's 42-year-old brother Howard Carroway were each found guilty of trying to steal more than $3 million from a fund established by British Petroleum. The fund was established after a massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Prosecutors say the three were convicted of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, filing false claims and aggravated identity theft.

Associated Press

BP has asked a federal judge to reconsider a ruling that could cost the oil giant around $18 billion in additional fines stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.

Attorneys for BP PLC say in a motion filed Thursday evening that U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's Sept. 4 ruling that the company acted with "gross negligence" in the disaster was based on testimony that had been excluded from the trial.

BP says Barbier should amend the judgment or hold a new trial.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says the state will benefit from a court ruling that could mean billions of dollars in damages for the Gulf oil spill in 2010.

Strange says a judge's decision that oil giant BP caused the spill through reckless conduct means the company will pay additional civil penalties.

Strange says Alabama will receive part of that money, although the exact amount isn't clear.

Strange commented Thursday after a federal judge in New Orleans ruled BP bears most of the responsibility for the Gulf oil spill.

The Associated Press

A federal investigative board concludes that the last-ditch safety device that didn't stop the 2010 BP oil spill had multiple failures, wasn't tested properly and still poses a risk for many rigs drilling today.

The report issued Thursday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board zeroes in on what went wrong with the blowout preventer and blames bad management and operations. And that, they said, led to the dumping of 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Associated Press

A federal appeals court panel says BP PLC must resume paying claims to businesses while it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review its settlement with businesses in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

A three-judge panel ruled 2-1 on Wednesday that it will not stop payments while BP appeals an earlier 5th Circuit decision that the settlement does not require businesses to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect payments.

Kate Mercer/Press-Register

Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area. Earlier Tuesday, the Coast Guard issued a directive transitioning the cleanup to a phase in which Coast Guard teams, BP cleanup crews and equipment will be pre-positioned to respond to new reports of oil as needed. BP said in a news release that the Coast Guard's directive ended patrols of the final three miles of affected shoreline in Louisiana.

Associated Press

Nearly four years after the Gulf oil spill, a political action committee associated with BP oil company is contributing to Alabama politicians' campaigns.

The Anniston Star says campaign contribution reports show a BP employee PAC gave $1,000 to Gov. Robert Bentley, $2,000 to House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and $500 each to Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur, Rep. Micky Hammon of Decatur, Rep. Ed Henry of Decatur, Rep. Ken Johnson of Moulton, Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur, and Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile.

Associated Press

A trial over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf is now focusing on how much crude gushed from BP's blown-out well.

Lawyers for BP and the federal government today began to offer conflicting scientific theories to explain their different estimates.

The amount of oil that spewed into the Gulf is a key factor in determining how much more money BP and its contractors owe for their roles in the deadly disaster.

Associated Press

BP is trying to persuade a federal appeals court that it should throw out a judge's approval of the company's multibillion-dollar settlement related to the Gulf oil spill if a separate appeal is unsuccessful.

Last year, BP joined plaintiffs' attorneys in urging U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to give the deal his final approval. On Friday, however, the company's lawyers argued in a court filing that Barbier's more recent interpretation of settlement terms have allowed businesses to receive hundreds of millions of dollars for inflated or fictitious claims.

money.cnn.com

Defense attorneys are seeking a nine-month delay in the trial of two BP rig supervisors charged with manslaughter in the deaths of 11 workers on the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Lawyers for Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine said in a court filing Wednesday that they need more time to review millions of pages of documents that Justice Department prosecutors have produced in preparation for a trial scheduled to begin Jan. 14.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. didn't immediately rule on their request. Prosecutors are opposed to a delay.

Associated Press

A federal judge has rejected BP's latest request to suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast residents and businesses while a former FBI director leads an independent investigation of the program, which compensates victims of the company's 2010 oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's order Wednesday says an internal probe by the claims administrator's office didn't find credible evidence of fraud involving employees of the settlement program's claims center in Mobile, Ala.

Associated Press

BP says it has uncovered new allegations of fraud and conflicts of interest inside the settlement program that has awarded billions of dollars to Gulf Coast businesses and residents following the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a federal court filing Monday, BP renewed its request for a judge to temporarily suspend settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh leads an independent investigation of the court-supervised settlement program.

istockphoto

A federal judge has rejected BP's request to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Friday after BP attorneys argued that payments should be suspended while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement program.

Associated Press

A team of plaintiffs' lawyers has urged a federal judge to reject BP's bid to suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.

In a court filing Thursday, attorneys who brokered a multibillion-dollar settlement with BP PLC say the company hasn't provided any evidence that court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau has wrongfully paid any claims.

Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of alleged misconduct by a lawyer who worked for the court-supervised administrator of BP's multibillion-dollar settlement along with a team of private attorneys.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued an order Tuesday naming Freeh a "special master."

Freeh is a private consultant and recently led a university-sanctioned investigation of the Pennsylvania State University sex abuse scandal.

Oil Clean Up Work Ending in Three States

Jun 10, 2013
Associated Press

BP PLC says cleanup work is ending in three of the states affected by the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The London-based oil giant said Monday that the Coast Guard is concluding "active cleanup operations" in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, but the work continues along 84 miles of Louisiana's shoreline.

The Coast Guard will continue responding to reports of oil that washes up anywhere along the Gulf Coast. BP says it will take responsibility for removing any oil that came from its blown-out Macondo well.

The Associated Press

A BP lawyer says other companies that worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project made crucial mistakes that led to the deaths of 11 workers and the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill.

BP attorney Mike Brock acknowledged during his opening statements Monday for a high-stakes trial that the London-based company also made mistakes and "errors in judgment" before its Macondo well blew out.

ideum / Flickr

BP has urged a federal judge to rule the company can't be penalized for millions of gallons of oil that spewed from its blown-out well but was captured before it could spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

A court filing Friday by BP says the federal government overestimated the size of the spill because workers captured more than 34 million gallons of crude and either burned it or shipped it to shore.

The Associated Press

A federal judge in New Orleans has scheduled a Feb. 14 hearing to decide whether to accept the Justice Department's criminal settlement with Transocean Ltd. over the company's role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean, which owned the rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the spill, agreed last Thursday to pay $400 million in criminal penalties and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act. The Switzerland-based company also agreed to pay $1 billion in civil penalties.

Kate Mercer/Press-Register

A federal judge says she will decide next month whether to accept a plea deal that calls for BP PLC to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties for its role in a deadly 2010 rig explosion and the massive oil spill it triggered in the Gulf of Mexico.

To resolve a Justice Department probe, the London-based oil giant agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress about how much oil spilled from its blown-out well.

restorethegulf.gov

A council that's supposed to develop a plan to restore the environment and economy after the BP oil spill is holding its first public meeting.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council meets Tuesday afternoon in Mobile. The council includes federal officials and state officials from the five Gulf Coast states. A spokesman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he plans to attend the meeting.

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