• $18.7B deal clears path for BP to close books on Gulf spill

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trying to close the books on the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP agreed Thursday to provide billions of dollars in new money to five Gulf Coast states in a deal the company said would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion.

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  • Oil-Munching Microbes Cleaning Up Gulf Marshes Faster Than Expected

    The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill left the Gulf Coast’s vast and delicate marshlands in desperate need of cleaning. But soil microbes are on the job.

    Since the spill, populations of oil-degrading microbes have boomed in some of Louisiana’s most heavily oiled marsh soils. These invisible-to-the-eye janitors are breaking down the goopy brown oil faster than expected, scientists report June 19 in Environmental Science & Technology. Although some researchers are skeptical of the data, the study hints at a relatively speedy ecological recovery.

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  • BP Now Credited With Gulf Coast Tourism Boom

    Years after the infamous BP oil spill soiled Gulf Coast beaches, the oil giant is now being credited with increased tourism in the region.

    It appears the more than $230 million BP has spent since the 2010 disaster has been effective in helping to draw visitors back to areas that some feared would never fully rebound from incident.

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  • Once Vilified, BP Now Getting Credit For Gulf Tourism Boom

    Orange Beach, Ala. (AP) -- With the Memorial Day holiday here, fallout from the oil spill that left Gulf Coast beaches smeared with gooey tar balls and scared away visitors in 2010 is being credited, oddly, with something no one imagined back then: An increase in tourism in the region.

    Five years after the BP disaster, the petroleum giant that was vilified during heated town hall meetings for killing a way of life is now being praised by some along the coast for spending more than $230 million to help lure visitors back to an area that some feared would die because of the spill.

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  • Does Alabama's economy stand to gain more from the oil spill than it lost?

    Five years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP already has pumped billions of dollars into Alabama's economy, with potentially hundreds of millions more on the way.

    The numbers are so large, they prompt a provocative question: When all is said and done, will Alabama get more from payments related to the spill than the disaster actually cost the state?

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  • The Gulf Oil Spill, Five Years Later

    Five years ago this week, a blowout of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig 40 miles from the Gulf Coast tragically claimed eleven lives and spilled 3 million barrels of oil from the damaged wellhead into the Gulf. It’s hard to forget the video images of thick oil gushing, day after day, into the region’s waters.

    It was a horrific accident that caused substantial damage to the ecology and commerce of the region. Gulf-area wildlife, portions of the shoreline, tourism, fishers and shrimpers, and energy-sector workers suffered large losses in the aftermath of the spill.

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  • BP should be commended for response to disaster

    At the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident, much is being said about the state of the Gulf today. While there is significant evidence that it has recovered to a tremendous degree, some environmental scientists remain cautious.

    As someone who dedicated his career to disaster response, I am comfortable saying that whatever progress the Gulf has made toward full recovery is in large part a credit to BP’s willingness to collaborate and cooperate with emergency responders at the local, state and federal levels.

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  • Guest column: BP proved worthy of public trust

    There is something to be said for relationships in Louisiana. In the early years of my presidency at Xavier University, we had a vision for national expansion while remaining a major contributor in the New Orleans academic and civic communities. Our strategic approach included reaching out to build relationships with successful corporations to engage their collaboration and support. One of the early calls I made was to BP, and I was encouraged to find that it was eager to partner with us. That relationship began nearly 33 years ago and remains strong today!

    During Xavier’s decades long partnership with BP, we have collaborated to aggressively boost and strengthen career workforce development in New Orleans and Louisiana. With BP’s support, Xavier established a pipeline of successful summer academic programs in science, math, biology and engineering for hundreds of eager middle and high school students. Over the years, these academic and mentorship efforts have earned Xavier national recognition through the subsequent achievements of those students in undergraduate, graduate and professional schools.

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  • The BP Oil Spill Cleanup Isn’t a Disaster

    In early March a 30,000-pound mat of oily gunk washed up on East Grand Terre, a barrier island in the mouth of Louisiana’s Barataria Bay. It was an ugly reminder of the blowout at BP’s Macondo well, a disaster that spewed millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico starting on April 20, 2010. As BP crews collected the muck, the company issued a five-year report, Environmental Recovery and Restoration, stressing that the spill didn’t do lasting damage to the ecosystem. The 40-page report described the deleterious effects as “limited in space and time, mostly in the area very close to the wellhead.” BP’s U.S. spokesman, Geoff Morrell, told reporters that the state exacerbated contamination on East Grand Terre with a 2010 beach-replenishment initiative that wound up “burying the oil under layers of sand.”

    Louisiana officials saw it otherwise. “Oh, yeah, this is absolutely our fault,” Kyle Graham, executive director of the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, responded sarcastically during a March 19 interview with WWLTV in New Orleans. “And the dead baby dolphin y’all saw out there was the dolphin’s fault.” Graham went on to give voice to the pessimism of politicians and environmentalists who found BP’s report incredible: “They actually believe that the Gulf, that the actions they’ve done in response, have healed the Gulf, and that all of the decades’ worth of knowledge about the effects of oil on these natural environments—the likelihood that these effects will last for generations—isn’t true.”

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  • Casualties of BP spill included men's lives, accurate reporting: Opinion

    It's easy to forget the human suffering involved in a massive catastrophe like the BP oil spill. After all, it was the worst offshore oil spill in our nation's history and it caused billions of dollars in damage to marshes, beaches and businesses on the central Gulf Coast.

    But the catastrophe also killed 11 men when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010 - men whose bodies were never found, whose families have no graves to visit, and whose wives and parents can only imagine the terror their loved ones endured that night.

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