"MIAMI — Facing more than 100 lawsuits after its Gulf of Mexico oil spill killed 11 workers and threatened four coastal states, oil giant BP is asking the courts to place every pre-trial issue in the hands of a single federal judge in Houston. That judge, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, has traveled the world giving lectures on ethics for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, a professional association and research group that works with BP and other oil companies. The organization pays his travel expenses."
"Gayla Benefield and Eva Thomson are sisters who have grown used to death. For two decades, they have watched asbestos from a nearby vermiculite mine strangle their parents, Thomson's husband, an aunt, several in-laws and numerous neighbors and friends."
The joint Coast Guard-BP unified command has recalled to land all 125 of the private fishing vessels helping to contain the Gulf oil spill, after fumes overcame four or more crewmembers Wednesday.
"Several days before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, BP officials chose, partly for financial reasons, to use a type of casing for the well that the company knew was the riskier of two options, according to a BP document." Hearings and investigations have revealed a string of other factors contributing to the blast.
"BP started pumping heavy mud into the leaking Gulf of Mexico well Wednesday and said everything was going as planned in the company's boldest attempt yet to plug the gusher that has spewed millions of gallons of oil over the last five weeks."
"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says in a report to be delivered to the White House on Thursday that he will not consider applications for permits to drill in the Arctic until 2011. Shell Oil is poised to begin exploratory drilling this summer on leases as far as 140 miles offshore."
"The crew of the Deepwater Horizon had a number of warning signs extending over five hours that conditions were worsening deep underwater before the oilrig exploded in the Gulf on April 20, BP's own investigators told a House inquiry into the cause of the deadly accident."
"The most critical moment in the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico is at hand, as BP engineers armed with 50,000 barrels of dense mud and a fleet of robotic submarines are poised to attempt a 'top kill' maneuver to plug the gushing well a mile below the surface."
Still covering aspects of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill? SEJ's tracker blog The Daily Glob has compiled a list of important Gulf-related research programs: institutes, academic programs, and labs working on marine science, gulf ecology, oil spill response and recovery, coastal ecosystems, wetlands, and more.
"Under increasing pressure from the federal government, oil giant BP is agreeing to reduce the amount of a chemical dispersant it is using in the Gulf of Mexico."