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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 30, 2015

January 30, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

BP oil spill: Study traces almost 10 million gallons to Gulf sea floor
By Jayalakshmi K, International Business Times. Jan. 30, 2015
“A study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Jeff Chanton has found around 6 million to 10 million gallons buried in the sediment on the Gulf floor, about 62 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta.” (Read More)

With recent ruling, federal judge cuts at least $240 million from state’s BP fine
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. Jan. 26, 2015
“You don’t get credit for what you have to do – which is cleaning up the pollution you dumped on the Gulf,” said David Muth, National Wildlife Federation director of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration coalition. “It doesn’t matter whether it cost them $200 or $200 billion, it’s what they have to do. For them to claim some kind of moral credit for cleaning up even a spec of what they dumped is absurd.” (Read More)

BP Begs for Lower Fine for Deepwater Horizon
By Tessa Stuart, Audubon Magazine. Jan. 22, 2015
“The outcome from this decision must send a clear and powerful signal to every other operator in the Gulf: deep-sea drilling is risky business, and they must protect their employees, our communities and our ecosystems," the groups wrote in a joint statement released last week. "BP chose not to do that, so they deserve to pay the maximum fines allowed by law.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 29, 2015

January 29, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

5 Years after the Spill: What BP Owes the Gulf Coast
By David Yarnold, Roll Call. Jan. 29, 2015
“It’s been nearly five years since BP slimed the Gulf Coast, taking the lives of 11 men, wrecking livelihoods and killing tens of thousands of helpless coastal birds. Finally, federal Judge Carl Barbier is heading into the final stretch, deciding how much the third largest oil company in the world will have to pay in pollution fines for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.” (Read More)

BP’s ‘civically responsible’ spending after oil spill propped up Gulf economy, expert testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 29, 2015
“Baton Rouge economist Loren Scott predicted "the bottom would fall out" for the region's economy when oil started washing ashore in the early days of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Scott testified on Wednesday those forecasts were some of the "worst I've ever given," failing to anticipate the "robust recovery" driven by billions of dollars BP pumped into the Gulf Coast for cleanup and damage claims.” (Read More)

BP to sell part of its Gulf of Mexico stake to Chevron
AP, New Jersey Herald. Jan. 29, 2015
“For BP, it allows the company to move some of its recent discoveries closer to production as it continues to work to settle claims resulting from its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf.” (Read More)

$7 billion just disappeared on the Gulf Coast
*photo, MRD protest, 2013
By Josiah Neeley, R Street. Jan. 28, 2015
“The case is particularly noteworthy because, under the terms of the 2012 RESTORE Act, proceeds of the civil penalties assessed in the trial are to be divided up between the five Gulf Coast states.” (Read More)

Small-scale projects benefit the coast
By Jonathan Olivier, Daily Comet. Jan. 27, 2015
“Many of the projects, some paid for through state or federal dollars, are constructed through nonprofits and private organizations, with hopes of stopping and curbing coastal erosion on private land.” (Read More)

Executive: No guarantee BP would help pay subsidiary’s fines
By Kevin McGill, AP. Jan. 28, 2015
“An executive for the BP subsidiary that faces billions of dollars in possible fines for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill testified Tuesday that it is uncertain whether other BP entities would step in to help pay a steep penalty.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 28, 2015

January 28, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

State’s coastal agency asked to come up with potential budget cuts
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 28, 2015
“Up to this point, they have been spared,” said David Muth, director for Mississippi River Delta Restoration for the National Wildlife Federation. This is an organization tasked with protecting coastal Louisiana, Muth said. Asking it to make budget cuts, “It’s just not a good sign.” (Read More)

In BP oil spill trial, company’s expert witnesses to testify to recovering wildlife, strong Gulf economy
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 28, 2015
“The testimony is intended to support BP's case that the spill's environmental and economic impact was not as widespread as originally feared.” (Read More)

Gulf Coast beaches, marshes show ‘substantial recovery’ after 2010 oil spill, BP witness testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 28, 2015
“On cross examination, Justice Department attorney Abby Andre suggested Taylor was downplaying the spill's shoreline impact, noting oil was still being reported on hundreds of miles of coast as recently as May 2013.” (Read More)

BP executive: ‘Nothing we can do or say’ can change oil spill tragedy
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 27, 2015
“A BP executive testified Tuesday that the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was a tragedy, but he is proud of the company and the efforts of its employees in gathering resources and experts to contain the disaster.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 27, 2015

January 27, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

No ‘compelling evidence’ BP oil spill sickened cleanup workers, Gulf Coast residents witness testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 27, 2015
“There is ‘no compelling evidence’ the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill damaged the health of cleanup workers and Gulf Coast residents, and there is no reason to believe longer-term studies will expose chronic illnesses linked to the disaster, a public health expert testified Monday (Jan. 26).” (Read More)

Expert witness testifies to BP’s ‘extraordinarily effective’ oil spill response
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 26, 2015
“BP conducted an "extraordinarily effective response" to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, rapidly mobilizing people, equipment and a wide range of cleanup measures to prevent oil from washing ashore, an oil spill response expert testified Monday (Jan. 26).” (Read More)

Supreme Court won’t take BP exec appeal of charge in oil spill, news service reports
By Andy Grimm, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 26, 2015
“The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from BP executive David Rainey, a move that means Rainey will face an additional count of lying to Congress about the amount of oil that gushed from the failed Macondo well in the devastating 2010 spill, Reuters reported.” (Read More)
 
Here’s your chance to help save wetlands
By Jonathan Olivier, Daily Comet. Jan. 26, 2015
“Residents are invited Wednesday to share ideas that might help save Louisiana’s eroding wetlands. State officials have scheduled a public forum for 9 a.m. at Houma’s Main Library.It will be led by members of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act board, which funds construction of coastal restoration projects.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

In oil spill trial, first BP expert witness to testify about effectiveness of response
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 26, 2015
“BP will call its first witnesses Monday (Jan. 26) as it seeks a penalty lower than the $13.7 billion the federal government wants for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The company's experts will testify to the effectiveness of BP's effort to minimize the spill's impact.” (Read More)

BP’s finances ‘better today than prior to the oil spill,’ can handle $13.7B fine, witness testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 23, 2015
“BP's financial position is "better today than it was prior to the oil spill," leaving the company more than able to pay the maximum $13.7 billion penalty the government is seeking for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a forensic accounting expert testified Friday (Jan. 23).” (Read More)

Letter: Restoring Gulf Coast is best outcome from BP disaster
By Rebecca Triche (Louisiana Wildlife Federation), The Advocate. Jan. 25, 2015
“Even before the spill, Louisiana had no shortage of coastal restoration challenges. Obviously, we have considerably more challenges now as a result of the spill. As we get closer to finding out the extent of the damage and how much BP will be fined, we urge everyone to remember why this money is coming to the Gulf.” (Read More)

State coastal experts beginning study to assess costs, benefits of river diversions
By Bob Marshall, The Lens. Jan. 23, 2015
“The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has begun a study to analyze the effects to the fisheries, the economy and the communities in the receiving basins over the next 50 years if diversions are built, as well as what will happen if nothing is done.” (Read More)

CPRA Chair Jerome Zeringue being replaced by Chip Kline, Gov. Bobby Jindal announces
By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 23, 2015
“Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Jerome " Zee" Zeringue has resigned his position and will be replaced by Chip Kline, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced on Friday (Jan. 23). Kline currently serves as the deputy director for the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities.” (Read More)

Ask the Advocate: That’s an awful lot of football fields
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 26, 2015
“When we say 16.6 square miles per year that is hard for anyone to visualize. Put it in terms of a football field, something everyone has seen, and now everyone can understand what a significant problem our state is facing?” (Read More)

Editorial: BP owes Gulf Coast millions
NWF Daily News. Jan. 21, 2015
“The U.S. government is right to insist that BP pay billions of additional dollars in environmental penalties for its 2010 oil spill, and we hope it prevails in federal court in New Orleans.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 23, 2015

January 23, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

BP oil spill rippled through ‘fabric of Gulf Coast economy,’ witness testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 22, 2015
“The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill took an economic toll that "reached out into the fabric of the entire Gulf Coast economy," an impact only modestly countered by BP's spending and investment in the region, an economic expert testified on Thursday (Jan. 22).” (Read More)

In BP oil spill trial, U.S. witness to outline how much BP can afford to pay in fines
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 23, 2015
“The U.S. government plans to call its final witnesses Friday (Jan. 23) as it seeks the maximum $13.7 billion penalty against BP for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The testimony will estimate the impact such a fine would have on BP's finances.” (Read More)

Coastal Master Plan could grow by $20 billion, state planners say
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2015
“The state's coastal protection and restoration Master Plan could grow by $20 billion, based on additional projects being reviewed for the plan's 2017 revision, a senior planner with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said Wednesday (January 21).” (Read More)

These Native American Tribes are fighting to stop their land from literally disappearing
By Kira Lerner & Alice Ollstein, ThinkProgress. Jan. 22, 2015
“The group came together on tribal lands that are quickly disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico — taking not only the ground beneath their feet but generations of culture and their traditional way of life.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 22, 2015

January 22, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Coastal programs to see 5 percent budget cuts in 2015-16, Coastal Authority Executive Director says
By Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2015
“Clearly, Louisiana is facing a short-term budgetary crisis, but CPRA is tackling a much more serious long-term crisis," said a statement released late Wednesday by the Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.” (Read More)

In BP oil spill trial, U.S. witnesses to detail disaster’s economic effect
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 22, 2015
“The U.S. government plans Thursday to continue to build its case that BP should pay the maximum $13.7 billion fine for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, this time calling an expert witness to describe the disaster's economic effect.” (Read More)
 
BP oil spill harmed wildlife, habitat ‘everywhere it went,’ expert testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2015
“The BP oil spill caused widespread damage to the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, harming wildlife, shoreline habitats and vital microorganisms on the ocean floor, an environmental expert testified for the Justice Department on Wednesday morning.” (Read More)

Two new diversion sites to be studied, computer modeling to determine effectiveness
By Amy Wold, The Advocate. Jan. 22, 2015
“State coastal scientists released findings on the best location for two additional sediment diversions along the lower Mississippi River based on cost, highest sediment collection and effectiveness.” (Read More)

Progress made on proposed Wetlands Discovery Center
By Chris Leblanc, Houma Today. Jan. 21, 2015
“The Terrebonne Parish Council approved a cooperative endeavor agreement with the state last week after $125,000 in state construction money and a roughly $31,000 local match were approved for the project’s design, engineering and permitting process.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 21, 2015

January 21, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

BP oil spill trial: Feds call more witnesses Wednesday
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2015
“The U.S. government will call on several more witnesses starting Wednesday morning (Jan. 21) to help bolster its argument that BP should pay the maximum $13.7 billion fine for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.” (Read More)
 
Judge in BP trial raises prospect of big penalty paid in installments
By Daniel Gilbert, The Wall Street Journal. Jan. 21, 2015
“A federal judge signaled Tuesday that he may allow BP to pay pollution fines over time rather than in a lump sum, as the company and government lawyers sparred over billions of dollars in possible penalties for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.” (Read More)

BP oil spill caused ‘serious and widespread’ harm to Gulf Coast communities, expert testifies
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 21, 2015
“The BP oil spill disrupted Gulf Coast residents' way of life in a surprising and unfamiliar disaster that ‘caused serious and widespread sociocultural harm to coastal communities,’ an anthropology expert testified for the Justice Department on Tuesday.” (Read More)
 
BP back in court for final phase of Gulf oil spill trial
By Debbie Elliott, NPR. Jan. 20, 2015
“The government is asking a New Orleans federal judge to impose a stiff financial penalty on oil giant BP for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U.S. history.” (Read More)

BP judge urged to impose $11.7 billion-plus spill fine
By Daniel Lawton & Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg. Jan. 20, 2015
“The penalty is going to have to be high enough for companies of their size to even notice it, but not high enough to be ruinous to their operations,” O’Rourke told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in his opening statement. “It has to be high enough so massive companies like Anadarko and BP will be deterred.” (Read More)
 
Third BP trial begins with nearly $14 billion at stake 
By Rob Mason, 19 Action News. Jan. 20, 2015
“The U.S. Justice Department began its fight in federal court Tuesday to try and get BP to pay billions of dollars to restore the coast.” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 20, 2015

January 20, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Billions at stake as latest phase of BP civil trial opens
By Richard Thompson, The New Orleans Advocate. Jan. 20, 2015
“Barring a last-minute settlement, a federal judge in New Orleans is set to begin hearing testimony Tuesday as he considers how many billions of dollars BP and a minority partner in its ill-fated Macondo well should have to pay as a penalty for their roles in the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.” (Read More)  

Environmental groups say BP deserves max $13.7 billion oil spill fine
By Jennifer Larino, The Times-Picayune. Jan. 16, 2015
“Environmental groups say a federal judge's Thursday ruling that the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was smaller than government estimates was fair and an "important step" in the sprawling spill litigation. As the trial moves forward, they say BP should face the maximum penalty for its role in the spill.” (Read More)

U.S. District Judge to Calculate BP’s fine for Gulf Oil Spill
By Debbie Elliott, NPR. Jan. 19, 2015
“Environmental groups are also calling for a high penalty. Cynthia Sarthou with the Gulf Restoration Network says the BP fine should be a message for the oil and gas industry.” (Read More)

Trial to determine BP fines
By Jonathan Olivier, Daily Comet. Jan. 19, 2015
“Simone Maloz, director of Restore or Retreat, a Thibodaux-based environmental organization, said no matter the final amount of money, every bit has the potential to benefit Louisiana. She urged the public to stay tuned throughout the process to understand how the outcome may affect their area.” (Read More)  

Holding BP accountable in the final stretch
By Kimberly Blair, Pensacola News Journal. Jan. 19, 2015
“The Gulf has waited long enough, says the National Wildlife Federation. ‘Now that the court has determined the volume of the spill and found that BP's actions were grossly negligent, it is time that BP accept responsibility.’ ” (Read More)

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Latest Mississippi River Delta News: Jan. 16, 2015

January 16, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Latest News

Judge puts BP’s top fine at $13.7 billion for Gulf oil disaster; U.S. Sought $18 billion
By Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg News. Jan. 16, 2015
“Today’s ruling on the spill’s size sets the stage for a trial next week in New Orleans at which Barbier will determine the amount of the fines, based on the law’s provision for as much as $4,300 per barrel released and factors such as what BP did to minimize or mitigate the effects of the disaster.” (Read More)

Latest judge’s ruling on BP oil spill is key to upcoming trial (Audio, Interview featuring David Muth)
By Debbie Elliott, NPR. Jan. 16, 2015
“A federal judge in New Orleans has ruled that BP dumped 3.19 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The company could face a maximum $13.7 billion fine.” (Read More)

How are things for BP when the chance of a $14 billion hit comes as a relief?
By Paul Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek. Jan. 15, 2015
“In a joint statement issued before Judge Barbier's ruling, the Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, and National Audubon Society said: "The court has the opportunity and responsibility to make it right, to hold BP fully accountable for the damage done to the gulf and to assign the maximum penalty to BP for its gross negligence.” (Read More)

BP: Gulf of Mexico fines will be on low end
By Daniel Graeber, UPI. Jan. 16, 2015
“A consortium led by the National Wildlife Federation said it was time the British oil company faces justice, nearly five years after the spill. ‘BP has dragged out litigation in the courts, challenging every decision only to have each decision against them confirmed by higher courts,’ they said.”
(Read More)

BP off the hook for several billion dollars in oil spill fines
AFP, New York, Yahoo News. Jan. 16, 2015
“The National Wildlife Federation said in April that scientific studies on 14 different types of creatures affected by the spill show that long-lasting harm was done to dolphins, sea turtles, tuna, loons and other animals in the region.”
(Read More)

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