Latest news: October 17, 2011

BP Recovers $4 Billion From Anadarko for Gulf Spill

By Julia Werdigier, The New York Times (New York, Ny.). October 17, 2011.

“LONDON — The British oil company, BP, said Monday that a partner in a well that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, Anadarko Petroleum, had agreed to pay $4 billion to settle claims relating to last year’s oil spill…”

Wetlands project facing closure due to cost

By Amy Wold, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.). October 17, 2011.

“On Oct. 4, six airboats pulled up to what looked like a small barrier island to the west of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish. Although the plant-covered, muddy island appears no different than the surrounding marsh, it was the showpiece destination that day for a contingent of state and federal officials…”

The week ahead: Interior’s drilling chief to discuss safety reforms

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill (Washington, DC). October 17, 2011.

“Interior’s offshore drilling chief will testify Tuesday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on whether the United States is capable of responding to another massive oil spill…”

Senate Democrats may not like House’s changes to oil spill fine bill

By George Altman, The Press-Register (Mobile, Al.). October 17, 2011.

“WASHINGTON — Some Republican Gulf Coast senators are reacting warmly to tweaks House lawmakers made to their proposal to distribute potentially billions of dollars in oil spill fines locally. But Senate Democrats may feel differently…”

Studies delay oyster season

By Cara Bayles, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). October 16, 2011.

“The state’s oyster season, originally slotted to begin on Monday, will be delayed by two weeks to allow for continued sampling as part of the BP Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment…”

Will latest report finally spur action along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico?

By Editorial Staff, The Courier (Houma, La.). October 16, 2011.

“There are no surprises in the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Task Force’s new report on restoration. In fact, much of the report is made up of information that is old hat for many folks around south Louisiana…”

Florida Wildlife Federation throws weight behind RESTORE Act

By Tom McLaughlin, Daily News (Emerald Coast, Fl.). October 16, 2011.

“Jay Liles, policy consultant for the Florida Wildlife Federation, was in Northwest Florida last week pushing for passage of the RESTORE Act, which could bring millions of dollars from BP to the region…”

Locals head to California for spill talk

By Nikki Buskey, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). October 16, 2011.

“Bayou residents are headed to San Francisco later this month to talk about life in south Louisiana in the year since the Gulf oil spill…”

Outdoors notebook: Estuaries taking losses

By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 16, 2011.

“Here’s some news that shouldn’t surprise Louisiana coastal residents: The nation continues to lose wetlands at a steady pace, and coastal estuaries — the most productive wetlands — are suffering the most rapid declines. Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States, 2004-2009,” released last week by the USFWS, is the most up-to-date, scientifically valid assessment of the problem and is available at…”

Challenges for duck hunters can be overcome

By Bob Marshall, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 16, 2011.

“Hunters and farmers have at least one thing in common: Their success or failure is determined largely by the weather. That’s why this news item caught my attention Friday morning: WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated the entire state of Louisiana, which includes 64 parishes, as natural disaster areas due to the combined effects of severe storms, tornadoes, severe spring flooding, Tropical Storm Lee, widespread drought and excessive heat that began Jan. 1, 2011, and continues…”

EDITORIAL: Boost offshore fines – and drilling

By Enterprise editorial staff (Beaumont, Tx.). October 15, 2011.

“The head of the U.S. offshore drilling safety agency wants Congress to boost fines for violations. That’s fine (pun intended.) But what really needs to happen with this industry is more offshore drilling…”

Oil-fines bill advances in House

By Nikki Buskey, Houma Courier (Terrebonne Parish, La.). October 14, 2011.

“Louisiana congressmen are pushing for action on a bill that would dedicate 80 percent of BP’s spill-fine money to restoration and recovery in the Gulf Coast…”

“Floating islands” to protect Bucktown marshland from erosion

By Jeff Adelson, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.). October 14, 2011.

“Jefferson Parish will be installing a system of “floating islands” to beef up about 3.5 acres of marshland near the Bucktown Marina to protect the area from erosion. Made of synthetic materials and planted with marsh grass, the islands will form a fringe around the existing marsh, said Marnie Winter, director of the parish’s Environmental Affairs Department…”