The advocacy group Public Citizen is battling BP’s effort to end its suspension from receiving new federal contracts, a sanction that stems from the oil giant’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.
Public Citizen filed a brief Tuesday in defense of the Environmental Protection Agency in BP’s lawsuit against the agency to overturn the suspension.
“Public Citizen believes that EPA’s suspension decision reflects an appropriate exercise of EPA’s express statutory and regulatory authority and will have the effect of protecting the public by preventing expenditures of government funds to benefit an enterprise whose history demonstrates that its corporate practices create ongoing threats to the environment, to U.S. workers, and to the public at large,” states the amicus brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
BP and other critics of the agency’s 2012 decision to freeze BP’s ability to win new contracts say it was far too sweeping.
“The EPA had no basis to designate [BP Exploration and Production] headquarters in Houston as the ‘violating facility’ under the relevant disqualification statute, nor can it make the required showing that ‘immediate action’ was necessary when it based the suspension on events that happened more than two and a half years before the suspension, particularly when the government continued to do business with BP and repeatedly found it to be a responsible contractor,” BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said in late January in response to a Justice Department filing in the case.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."