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Blog Post
3/16/2011
By Judy Dugan
The news about Japan’s nuclear crisis gets worse with each dribble of information from a reluctant bureaucracy. The chief risk Wednesday was that spent nuclear fuel rods in enormous storage pools would boil away the water that shields them, setting the waste on fire to spew highly radioactive particles into the wind. Yet in Washington,...
Blog Post
2/15/2011
By Judy Dugan
An Ecuadorean judge's ruling Monday that Chevron owes $8.8 billion for oil-drilling damage and pollution in the Amazon is far less than asked. But it's far more than Chevron intends to pay--which is zero, except for the tens of millions of dollars or more the oil giant is shelling out to its army of lawyers. What's remarkable about...
Blog Post
12/14/2010
By Judy Dugan
Oil refiner Valero, as it pumped $5 million into a California ballot proposition aimed at killing climate change regulation, warned that such regulation would bring an economic Armageddon of lost jobs in refineries and elsewhere, as well as unaffordable energy prices. A Consumer Watchdog study, however, proved that Valero was only interested in...
Blog Post
12/7/2010
By Judy Dugan
We've reported about what's wrong in the secrecy around BP's payments to Kenneth Feinberg and his law firm, which is doling out compensation for BP's devastating oil spill in the Gulf. Monday, though, the Center for Justice and Democracy got deep into the guts of the matter. In a letter to the CEO of BP, it lays out...
Blog Post
11/23/2010
By Judy Dugan
The deadline for submitting claims to the $20 billion BP oil spill compensation fund is midnight Tuesday. The wrangling over payouts will go on, perhaps for years. Yet the administrator of the fund, Kenneth Feinberg, stubbornly refuses to say how much he’s being paid by the oil company, eroding the trust of frustrated claimants and the...
Blog Post
11/17/2010
By Judy Dugan
The White House-appointed Oil Spill Commission wasted no time yesterday in rejecting Consumer Watchdog’s call for dismissal, or at least investigation, of its chief counsel, despite his  glaring conflicts of interest. I say glaring because Fred Bartlit, the panel’s top lawyer, has represented oil and chemical companies in court...
Blog Post
11/9/2010
By Judy Dugan
Monday’s statement by a White House commission was a head-snapper. BP cost-cutting not at fault for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? Say what? But a closer look at the words of the commission’s general counsel says something else: That the commission’s investigation is so narrow it will never point to cost-cutting. Here...
Blog Post
10/29/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
Halliburton is the sloppy contractor with no license, bad B.O. and helpers off the street who use gravel to stretch the cement and pour your driveway without the rebar. Except writ large. And deadly. As the New York Times story says, “Halliburton knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that...
Blog Post
10/28/2010
Posted by Carmen Balber
As reported by Bloomberg: Kenneth R. Feinberg, the attorney running BP Plc’s fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce not to use his efforts as an argument to revamp the U.S. legal system. Feinberg gave the keynote speech in the AIG-sponsored “Hall of Flags” yesterday at the Chamber’s...
Blog Post
10/28/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
The Texas oil money behind Proposition 23 is widely known by now. But there’s been less publicity about Big Oil–specifically Chevron–putting $4 million into passing Proposition 26, according to a nifty interactive chart just released by OilChange International. Proposition 26, according to opponents, would relieve big...