Alabama BP oil spill

Kate Mercer/Press-Register

A lawyer for BP PLC entered a not-guilty plea for the company as it was arraigned on charges stemming from a deadly 2010 rig explosion and massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The plea Tuesday in federal court was a procedural move paving the way for a later guilty plea. It doesn't signal that BP is backing away from its plea agreement, company and government lawyers said.

sessions.senate.gov

Members of Alabama's congressional delegation say the Obama administration should continue pursuing BP over the Gulf oil spill.

The company has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in criminal penalties, but many civil claims over the 2010 oil spill aren't resolved.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Mobile says he hopes the Justice Department continues pursuing BP under the Clean Water Act and the Restore Act, which was passed to send money to communities affected by the spill.

money.cnn.com

Leaders and activists on the Alabama coast are pleased BP will face criminal penalties for the Gulf oil spill, but they say civil payments are the real key.

The executive director of Mobile Baykeeper, Casi Callaway, said Thursday oil still washes on to the Alabama coast daily and criminal sanctions are warranted. She wants to know how much money will be available for repairing the environment.

Associated Press

Nearly two dozen groups in Alabama will share more than $8 million in oil spill funds to promote Gulf Coast tourism and seafood. The administrator of the claims process for the 2010 oil spill, Patrick Juneau, announced the first round of grants this week.

   BP is spending $57 million to bolster the tourism and seafood industries as part of a proposed settlement for the 2010 oil spill that sullied local beaches and put a dent in the regional economy.      

Kate Mercer/Press-Register / The Press-Register

The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council is gathering in Mobile to discuss the region's future after the BP oil spill.

Gov. Robert Bentley's office says he will be on hand for the meeting Friday afternoon.

A statement from Bentley's office says the council is officially beginning its work of long-term restoration from the spill.

The panel will decide how to spend fine money paid by BP.

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