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disaster 42 articles

BP spill fines could create 57,000 new Gulf Coast jobs, new study finds

NEW ORLEANS—BP oil spill fines could generate thousands of jobs if the Restore Act passes and those funds are invested in the Gulf Coast, according to a study commissioned by two non-profit groups, Greater New Orleans Inc. and the Walton Family Foundation. At some point in the future, BP will have to pay fines for violating the Clean Water Act with its disastrous Deepwater Horizon spill, which flooded the Gulf with 4.9 million barrels of oil (more than 200 million gallons) and fouled fisheries and beaches from Louisiana to Florida. Should investigators find that gross negligence on BP’s part contributed ... Read More

New BP oil-spill claim centers opening throughout the Gulf Coast

Eighteen new oil-spill claims offices, including three in Alabama, are opening next week to help individuals and businesses harmed by BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill receive compensation for their losses. The Deepwater Horizon Claims Center (DHCC) replaces the Gulf Coast Claims Center administered by Kenneth Feinberg, who came under heavy criticism for serving the interests of BP over those hurt by the massive oil spill. The DHCC is the result of the settlement negotiated between BP and the plaintiff’s steering committee and finalized in March. Patrick Juneau, a lawyer from Lafayette, Louisiana, was appointed as the Center’s new ... Read More

Stephen Baldwin sues Kevin Costner over sale of oil spill cleanup devices to BP

Kevin Costner made headlines in the summer of 2010 when he persuaded BP to buy 32 water-cleaning devices as part of its effort to clean up its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Now fellow Hollywood star Stephen Baldwin is suing Mr. Costner in federal court, alleging the famed actor and director cheated him and a friend out of millions in profit by not telling them of the pending sale to BP when they sold their shares of the company. The Costner-Baldwin trial opens today in a New Orleans courtroom under U.S. District Judge ... Read More

Gulf fishermen say 2012 season is off to a bad start, most blame BP oil spill

Fishing yields are on the rise in some parts of the Gulf Coast hit hard by BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but for fishermen who make their living from the famously rich estuaries in Barataria, Lousiana, the catches are frighteningly low. Before the BP oil spill in 2010, May meant money for fishermen plying the waters of Barataria, situated about 15 miles south of New Orleans. This year’s harvest, however, is turning out to be as gloomy as last year, when seafood harvests hit their lowest levels ever. According to catch data obtained by the Associated Press, the number of ... Read More

Feds investigate whether BP execs lied to Congress about oil spill rates

Last month, federal agents made the first arrest in connection to the 2010 BP oil spill when they charged Kurt Mix, a low-level BP engineer, for obstructing justice by allegedly erasing a series of text messages about some events that led to the Macondo well blowout and Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago. This week, the Wall Street Journal reports that federal investigators are climbing higher in the BP chain of command looking for answers about the oil disaster, which killed 11 workers and flooded the Gulf with more than 200 million gallons of oil. ... Read More

BP wants Vessels of Opportunity pay back, outraging boat captains

ORANGE BEACH, ALA—Alabama charter boat operators and other boat captains who participated in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity program are up in arms, claiming the oil giant is pressing them to return a hefty portion of the pay they received under the program. BP hatched the Vessels of Opportunity (VoO) program during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which sent hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil giant enlisted thousands of boats and their crew, most of whom were charter boat operators and fishermen put out of work by the oil spill, to help ... Read More

Louisiana beach restoration effort hampered by BP oil slick’s continuing presence

FOURCHON, LA–A race to save a six-mile span of Louisiana beach as it rapidly erodes into the Gulf of Mexico is being hindered by oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill constantly washing ashore, according to local and state officials who are fighting to hold the oil giant accountable for the ongoing destruction. According to the Daily Comet of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, the Caminada Headland project is using about $63 million in offshore oil revenue from the Coastal Impact Assistance program and the state of Louisiana to reclaim a stretch of beach in Fourchon, Louisiana, disappearing at the rate of 45 ... Read More

BP oil spill prompts US to mandate better blowout preventers on Gulf wells

Offshore oil drillers will need to invest more in some of the safety measures that will help prevent a catastrophic blowout like the one that toppled BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, according to new rules drafted by the U.S. Interior Department. BP’s Macondo well erupted in April 2010, killing 11 workers, injuring several others, and setting off the biggest oil spill the U.S. had ever seen. One of the reasons the disaster occurred was the failure of the well’s blowout preventer (BOP) – a five-story device designed to regulate the force of oil and gas gushing up from the subterranean reservoir. ... Read More

Florida’s Emerald Coast tourism agency overhauled amid criminal investigations

FT. WALTON BEACH, FLA–State and federal authorities are investigating the alleged criminal misuse of BP oil spill funds and bed taxes by Northwest Florida’s Okaloosa County Tourism Development Council. The probe has prompted county officials to make big changes to the way tourism promotion funds are handled in the future. Okaloosa County is home to the resort cities of Destin and Fort Walton Beach and miles of famous white-sand beaches that make up Florida’s Emerald Coast. Hotels, restaurants, charter fishing operators, retail outlets, entertainment venues, and other businesses in Okaloosa County that rely on tourism revenues took a big hit ... Read More

BP oil spill pollutants turn up in migratory pelicans nesting in Minnesota

Petroleum compounds from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago and some of the chemicals used to clean it are being found in pelican colonies nesting in Minnesota, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. Tens of thousands of pelicans descend on Marsh Lake in the western part of the state each year after wintering on the Gulf of Mexico. The birds span out across the Gulf, going as far south as Cuba to escape the colder weather. This year, some 34,000 American White Pelicans are raising about 17,000 chicks on Marsh Lake, making it ... Read More