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Oil Spills

January 28, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
At least 21 vessels were backed up along the Mississippi River as authorities worked on Monday to clean up an oil spill from a barge that hit a railroad bridge near Vicksburg, Miss. Officials have placed more than 2,500 feet of boom to contain the spill, Petty Officer Jonathan Lally told the Los Angeles Times by telephone. There was no estimate when the spill will be completely cleaned up, he said. At most, the spill could reach 80,000 gallons of crude oil from one of the damaged barges in Sunday's accident, Lally said.
January 27, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
Oil spilled into the Mississippi River after two oil barges hit a bridge near Vicksburg, Miss., early Sunday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard reported. The barges, laden with crude oil, were being pulled by the tow boat Nature's Way Endeavor when they hit the Vicksburg Railroad bridge and were damaged, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a release . One of the barges began spewing oil into the river, officials said. It was unclear how much oil was spilled. The U.S. Coast Guard said the source of the spill, a leaking tank filled with 80,000 gallons of crude oil, had been "contained.
January 3, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Offshore oil and gas drilling company Transocean has agreed to a $1.4-billion settlement with the Justice Department to resolve civil and criminal claims against the company for its role in the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig leased by BP that exploded and sank after the Macondo well blew out, killing 11 workers and spewing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf. In a statement, Transocean said that as part of the settlement, a "subsidiary has agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act for negligent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and pay $1.4 billion in fines, recoveries and penalties, excluding interest.
December 10, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Weiss
Ferrying a load of soybeans from Seattle to China in 2004, the engine of Malaysian freighter Selendang Ayu lost power and the vessel broke in half on rocks off Unalaska Island in the middle of the Alaskan archipelago. A ferocious Bering Sea storm thwarted rescue efforts, resulting in the loss of six crew members, and the vessel spilled 350,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil. The oozing fuel killed thousands of seabirds, closed local fishing and contaminated miles of shoreline -- all inside the sensitive habitat of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
November 16, 2012 | By Michael Muskal and Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- BP has accepted criminal responsibility for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a move that it said has put the criminal part of one of the nation's worst environmental disasters in the rear-view mirror. Even if that is true, and the government has insisted that its criminal probe is ongoing, BP's troubles are far from over. On the horizon is a civil case that could cost the company billions of dollars more, as well as continuing concerns by lawmakers about how to safeguard the nation's environment and regulate a key industry.
November 15, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - As a dramatic, 24-7 webcast showed oil gushing from BP's blown-out well during the spring and summer of 2010, Rep. Edward J. Markey suspected the oil giant was underestimating the amount of the spill. On Thursday, after BP agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties and fees and plead guilty to criminal misconduct, including lying to Congress to make the spill "appear less catastrophic than it was," the Massachusetts Democrat had this to say: "BP lied to me. And they lied to all Americans.
November 15, 2012 | By Michael Muskal and Ronald D. White
Oil giant BP and three of its employees were indicted on criminal charges including manslaughter and obstruction of Congress on top of a record $4-billion fine that the company will pay the government for its role in the oil spill disaster that scarred the Gulf of Mexico, officials announced Thursday. Led by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., officials announced the indictments in a televised news conference from New Orleans, where the grand jury has been investigating the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast.
November 15, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Oil company BP has agreed to plead guilty to misconduct and negligence charges and pay a record $4.5-billion fine in connection with the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, one of the nation's worst environmental disasters. In an announcement Thursday morning from its London headquarters, BP confirmed that it had reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve all federal criminal charges and all claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the company stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, the subsequent oil spill and the response.
November 15, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
British oil giant BP can easily afford to pay the $4.5 billion in oil-spill settlement costs announced Thursday, but analysts said a more difficult task may be rebuilding its reputation. BP agreed to the fines and other payments to the federal government and others and pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts related to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers in April 2010. It also agreed to a misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act, a misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and a felony count of obstruction of Congress.
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