National Fisherman

BP has argued for months in federal court and high-profile newspaper ads that the oil-spill settlement it signed in 2012 should be scrapped if what it believed to be fraudulent payments continued. But the company lost that option late Friday when the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the existing framework for reviewing claims and disbursing funds.
 
The ruling narrows BP's options for avoiding what it says are millions of dollars in payments to individuals and business not harmed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
A BP spokesman said the decision still leaves open the question of whether court-appointed administrator Patrick Juneau is interpreting the settlement accurately—an issue BP has raised with another set of Fifth Circuit judges that is pending.
 
The company contends Mr. Juneau is ignoring language in the settlement requiring proof that a claimant actually was damaged by the Deepwater Horizon spill, which it says has allowed widespread fraud. Mr. Juneau has said he is interpreting the settlement correctly.
 
"The company will continue to press its position on the agreement's threshold requirement that claimants' losses must be traceable to the spill," spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a statement.
 
BP once estimated spill claims paid from the settlement's funds would cost the company $7.8 billion, a figure that was raised to $9.4 billion. Now those payouts could reach $14 billion, according to Tom Claps, a legal analyst with Susquehanna Capital.
 
Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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