• Laissez les “Feeding Frenzy” Rouler

    Manufacturers have been watching with great interest as BP continues to push back against a feeding frenzy resulting from numerous questionable claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon accident. A disappointing ruling was issued from the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit yesterday when a divided three judge panel ruled against BP in its effort to seek relief from an onslaught of questionable claims under the Deepwater Horizon settlement fund. The fund has so far paid out nearly $4 billion, but further payments have been enjoined since December, pending the court’s ruling in this case. BP’s original estimate for compensating business and individual losses was $7.8 billion. A more recent estimate pegged the cost at $9.2 billion. That seems likely to grow after yesterday’s ruling in which the court missed an opportunity to restore some rationality to this situation.

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  • In New Orleans Courts, the Legal Gusher BP Cannot Contain

    After a blowout at its Macondo exploration well killed 11 workers, set fire to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and triggered a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a contrite BP vowed to “make things right” and set aside $42.5 billion to do so. But nearly four years later, BP knows just how hard things can get in the Big Easy. The London-based oil giant is mired in litigation in federal courts in New Orleans. No longer apologetic, BP has stiffened its spine. It has filed new motions and countersuits, taken out a slew of full-page ads in newspapers (including The Washington Post) and enlisted the British ambassador to express concerns to the Obama administration over how aggrieved the company feels.

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  • Federal Suspension and Debarment of BP Jeopardizes Growth of Small Business

    If decision makers in Washington finally put policy ahead of politics, 2014 is poised to be a transformative year for our nation’s economy. With 2013 now in our collective rearview mirror, voters and stakeholders alike are looking to the public and private sectors, in hopes they can work together to find novel solutions to preventable problems. To make 2014 a true watershed moment for the American economy, successful pro-business policies must be replicated. Rather than obstruct, the government should enable collaboration between corporate entities and small businesses – a model that has spurred innovation, economic development, growth, and job creation in recent years.

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  • BP Gulf Spill Restitution: Rule of Law, Please

    Responsible adults tell the next generation to do the right thing. Follow the law. Act with integrity. If you make a mistake, admit it, accept the consequences, and be better for it. Oil giant BP says it attempted to follow this dictum in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. It pleaded guilty to criminal charges, created a $7.8 billion fund to help businesses and individuals to suffered physical or financial losses, and has spent $26 billion to date to clean up the Gulf and retire injury claims.

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  • BP Seeks to Halt Payments to Seafood-Industry Claimants

    A Texas lawyer who is the target of a federal probe into whether he grossly inflated the number of clients he represented in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is due in federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday, as BP takes aim at the $2.3 billion deal it brokered to compensate the seafood industry for losses suffered by commercial fishing vessel owners, captains, fishermen and crew members.

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  • Oil Spill Money Nets Prison for Vancleave Man

    GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A 51-year-old Vancleave man who claimed he caught 1,000 pounds of shrimp a day before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is going to prison over $36,300. That's how much he received in oil-spill recovery money by claiming he owned a business that lost money. The Sun Herald reports a judge has ordered Joseph Anthony Clements to prison for 53 months and ordered him to repay the money.

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  • It's Official: Alabama Gulf Coast Tourism Broke Record in 2013 for Third Year in Row

    The numbers have been pointing to it since summertime with record amounts of tax revenue flowing into Gulf Shores and Orange Beach coffers and tourism officials have touted it, but now it’s official: the Alabama Gulf Coast broke its tourism record for the third consecutive year in 2013. According to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, Baldwin’s beach cities in 2013 generated $343 million in taxable lodging rental and $683 million in taxable retail sales for an average jump of about 6 percent overall.

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  • Gulf Coast Residents Not Showing Higher Chemical Exposure Post-BP Oil Spill Than Rest of Nation

    Gulf Coast residents in areas affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill don't appear to have higher chemical exposure than others across the nation, the head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ epidemiology branch said Tuesday. But researchers have found increased rates of depression and anxiety among people who worked in the spill cleanup.

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  • Helena Man Sentenced for Disaster Assistance Fraud From 2010 BP Oil Spill; Wife to Be Sentenced Later

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - A Helena man was sentenced today to one year and one day in federal prison for his guilty plea to mail fraud regarding false claims he made to get $122,600 in federal disaster assistance for the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill in 2010. Besides the prison time, Reginald A. Lee was also ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Inge Johnson to make restitution to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust. He is to report to the designated prison April 2.

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  • At BP, There’s Optimism in the Corner Office

    It has been nearly four years since the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and brought the wrath of the United States government and legal system down on the British energy giant BP. The company is still paying a heavy price, having already paid $27 billion in legal claims, cleanups and other costs from the spill — with potentially billions more still to be spent, as plaintiff lawyers press their cases. BP is still barred from obtaining new oil exploration leases from the United States or new business contracts with the federal government.

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