U.S. Coast Guard crews work to put out a fire during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) joined with Senate Republicans on Thursday to confirm Jeffrey Bossert Clark—a climate-denying former attorney for the fossil fuel industry—to lead the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“Clark’s blatant hostility toward environmental protection is good news for polluters, but awful news for the rest of us,” warned Environmental Working Group (EWG) president Ken Cook. “The guy who defended the company that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history is not likely to aggressively go after corporate environmental outlaws.” Continue reading →
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, found to be partially caused by lax safety regulations, killed 11 people and injured 16. (Photo: Florida Sea Grant/Flickr/cc)
The oil and gas industry is poised to save hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade thanks to a rollback of offshore drilling safety regulations that have been proposed by the Trump administration—including the elimination of the word “safe” from one rule.
Accepting an industry request, Trump administration moves to roll back safety measures implemented after Deepwater Horizon spill: https://t.co/05R152nTwc
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire while searching for survivors. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. Photo courtesy US Coast Guard (public Domain) via Wikimedia Commons
In the six years since BP‘s catastrophic Deepwater Horizon spill poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, environmentalists, Gulf coast residents, and politicians have clamored for justice. But Monday’s historic $20 billion settlement against the oil giant is not what they hoped it would be.
The settlement’s terms are so generous to BP that it amounts to a tax break worth billions—as some observers predicted.
A whopping $15 billion of the $20 billion settlement can be written off by BP as a “normal operating expense,” meaning the multinational corporation will pay only a fraction of the total settlement amount and American taxpayers will be left with the majority of the astronomical costs of the company’s mistake. Continue reading →
“It’s finally time to learn our lesson from the BP spill and all the spills that have happened since then,” says the Center for Biological Diversity’s Miyoko Sakashita. (Photo: US Coast Guard)
BP and the Justice Department announced Thursday the agreement of an $18.7 billion settlement over federal, state, and local claims stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmental groups responded to the settlement by stressing that the damage from the 2010 oil disaster is ongoing; that the funds must be used to restore the Gulf and its communities; and that the lessons of the disaster should be heeded by moving towards a clean energy future.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch noted the historic amount of the settlement, saying in a statement: “If approved by the court, this settlement would be the largest settlement with a single entity in American history.”
Her statement adds that the settlement “would justly and comprehensively address outstanding federal and state claims, including Clean Water Act civil penalties and natural resource damages.” Continue reading →
While Gulf Coast residents and environmental groups focus on the upcoming five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, a damning Associated Pressinvestigation has exposed the lingering impacts of a separate 2004 leak in the Gulf of Mexico—one that few people know about, and one that is far worse than the industry wants to admit.
Taylor Energy Company, which formerly operated the oil platform that collapsed during Hurricane Ivan, “has downplayed the leak’s extent and environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps the Gulf routinely absorbs,” according to AP journalists Michael Kunzelman and Jeff Donn. Continue reading →