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Oil Spills

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
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 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 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.
September 27, 2012 | By Monte Morin
Scientists are accusing the BP oil company of using the U.S. courts to attack their calculations of how much oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster. In a paper published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts, charge that BP and other corporations damage scientific research when they subpoena documents and correspondence that lead to study conclusions. Richard Camilli, an ocean physicist, engineer and lead author of the paper, claimed that BP was intent on using such correspondence to raise doubts about the spill calculations.
August 27, 2012 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
You can't blame Harry Shearer for feeling a twinge of regret just before the release of his latest satirical album of topical songs, "Can't Take a Hint. " "Pussy Riot and 'legitimate rape' in the news in the same week?" Shearer said, his eyes widening in disbelief as he leaned back into a love seat on the enclosed porch of his longtime home near the beach in Santa Monica. "I feel a little cheated. " But like anyone who's ever worked on an album - or any creative endeavor, for that matter - he also appreciates the pragmatic wisdom of Leonardo da Vinci's famous observation that "Art is never finished, only abandoned.
July 29, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Enbridge, a beleaguered Canadian oil pipeline company, has spilled more than 50,000 gallons of light crude oil in rural Wisconsin --  shortly after the company said it had implemented safety reforms after a massive 2010 spill in Michigan.  Officials for Alberta-based Enbridge Inc., one of the United States' most vital suppliers of Canadian oil, said Friday's spill has been contained by cleanup workers,  who are now trying to...
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