Latest News

Property values, prices plummet as oil spill lurks along Gulf Coast

Prospective homebuyers are not shying away from the Gulf Coast despite the looming threat of oil washing ashore from the busted oil rig. “Granted, its on the minds of everybody, because it’s just a sickening event,” Gulf Shores, Ala., broker Frank Malone told the Birmingham News. “The first week (after the spill), when there were a lot of unknowns, there was a lot of panic, and we had buyers discuss backing out of contracts.” But it didn’t take long for buyers to see a silver lining – they could get even better deals on properties already suffering because of foreclosures ... Read More

BP rejects EPA’s demand for less toxic chemical oil dispersant

Tensions continue to mount between BP and the federal government, first  over the oil giant’s failure to stop its oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico (the next attempt to contain the spill has been delayed until Wednesday) and now its insistence on using chemical oil dispersants in quantities that trouble regulators. BP has been spraying the oil slick with massive quantities of a dispersant called Corexit, which aids in breaking the oil down into small particles that can be ingested by microbes. The company is also injecting the plume of oil near the source with additional dispersant. The problem ... Read More

Young woman warns others about birth control pills and blood clot risk

After a routine flight to visit family in Florida, Sara Golieb’s tendonitis in her leg was growing particularly bothersome for the athletic, 25-year-old. “I had never felt pain like this in my foot or leg,” she wrote in an essay on the National Alliance for Thrombosis & Thrombophilia website. “I knew there was something wrong … in my wildest dreams, I did not think my symptoms could be due to a blood clot.” But instead of seeking medical attention, Sara limped around in pain for three days as her leg began to swell from the knee down. “I should have listened ... Read More

CPSC announces federal safety standards on infant bath seats

Infant bath seats are now required by law to meet a list of safety standards in an effort to reduce the number of preventable deaths and incidents involving the bath seats. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced this week that it has approved the first mandatory standard on a range of infant and toddler products as required under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The new federal requirements enhance the current voluntary standard by adding stricter stability requirements to prevent the seats from tipping over, tighter leg opening requirements to prevent children from slipping through, and a ... Read More

Oil laps land, brings despair, suicidal thoughts to small communities

Much press has been given to the dire threat BP’s oil slick poses to the coastal ecosystems, marine environment, and the economies that depend on the health of both. But now another tragic extension of the oil disaster is becoming apparent – a feeling of hopelessness and abandonment that threatens ways of life and cultural traditions that give the Gulf Coast its own unique, irreplaceable personality. According to New Orleans’ WGNO News, BP’s still-uncontrolled gush of oil has begun to invade the fragile wetlands that sustain Louisiana’s $3 billion seafood industry, and the situation has become so dismal that some ... Read More

Oil rig survivor says injured workers forced to sign waivers

In a newspaper interview on the one-month anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a survivor reveals the rig’s owner, Transocean, held injured workers for hours, making them sign a waiver before allowing them to see their families. The report appeared in the UK publication The Guardian. In it, Stephen Davis, a native of San Antonio, Texas, who was working on the rig the night of the explosion, recounts the horror of the night. He tells The Guardian it was “the biggest explosion I ever heard in my life,” and that the massive oil rig was shaking after the blast. He ... Read More

Prominent Ala. attorney files another BP class action

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) – Alabama plaintiffs firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles has filed another class action lawsuit against BP and other companies related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit, which was announced Thursday and alleges negligence and wanton misconduct, also names Haliburton and Cameron International as defendants. According to the petition, the firm seeks to, “represent property owners and rental agencies that have incurred damages related to the disaster, including: real property damages; personal property damages; loss of profits and earning capacity; loss of commercial and subsistence use of ... Read More

Level of oil dispersant chemicals used in Gulf raises concerns

The Environmental Protection Agency gave BP on Wednesday 24 hours to find an oil dispersant less toxic than the ones it has been spraying in massive quantities above the Gulf of Mexico and under the surface. The EPA requested that BP provide it with a list of available dispersants and begin using the new dispersants within 72 hours. The request indicates that federal regulators are concerned that the chemical dispersants being used in unprecedented quantities could pose a threat of their own to the Gulf’s marine life and coastal ecosystems. BP has been using two Nalco-brand dispersants, Corexit 9500A and ... Read More

Louisiana beach closure from oil spill gives momentum to tourism fears

Today beaches on Grand Isle, Louisiana, were closed until further notice as oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill has washed ashore. Government officials closed the beaches at noon, and are working with the state Wildlife and Fisheries Department to also close the waters off the island. The closure feeds the fears of other Gulf Coast communities that the summer season will be lost to the oil spill. Already, tourism officials say vacationers are canceling bookings and changing plans to visit coastal destinations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, despite the fact that most beaches are untouched by oil. Even Florida ... Read More

Failure to perform critical safety test, serious design = oil rig disaster

A leading oilfield services provider says that BP hired it to test the cement linings on the Deepwater Horizon’s drill column, but quit the testing and sent the crew home before its work was completed. Eleven hours later, natural gas blasted up the well and set off a series of giant explosions that sank what was supposed to be one of the most technologically advanced offshore rigs in the Gulf. Schlumberger Ltd., the testing firm, says that its crew and equipment were on standby to perform tests from April 18 to April 20. Some tests were successfully completed, yet BP ... Read More