EPA Gets Fresh Backing in BP Suspension Battle

Thick oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill floats on the surface of the water and coats the marsh wetlands in Bay Jimmy near Port Sulphur, Louisiana, June 11, 2010. BP's liabilities sky-rocketed in tandem with estimates about the scale of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Friday, as analysts pushed the possible price tag well above four billion dollars. Wall Street experts said the monetary cost of the disaster for BP would be tied to new estimates that put the amount of oil spilled at between one and two million barrels so far, double the previous estimate.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Feb. 5, 2014, 6:24 a.m.

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.

The brief is the latest es­cal­a­tion in the case. The Brit­ish gov­ern­ment and ma­jor busi­ness and oil in­dustry groups pre­vi­ously filed briefs sup­port­ing BP’s law­suit against EPA.

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.

What We're Following See More »
THE PRESIDENT’S POCKET
16th Charity Cancels Function at Mar-a-Lago
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
EARLY SEPTEMBER
Senate Plans Two Hearings on Health Insurance
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate health committee will hold two hearings early next month on how the nation’s individual health insurance marketplaces can be stabilized, as party leaders grasp for a fresh path following the collapse of the Republican effort to repeal and replace much of former President Barack Obama’s health care law. GOP and Democratic leaders are exploring whether they can craft a bipartisan but limited bill aimed at curbing rising premiums for people who buy their own insurance. In many markets, consumers are seeing steeply rising premiums and fewer insurers willing to sell policies."

Source:
OVER N. KOREA NUCLEAR PROGRAMS
U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 16 Companies
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
After Collisions, Navy to Suspend Some Operations
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Navy announced a pause in its global operations and patrols and has begun a broad investigation after the destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel, leaving 10 sailors missing, the second such incident in as many months."

Source:
“ZERO CHANCE” OF DEFAULT
Mnuchin, McConnell: We’ll Raise Debt Limit
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted Congress will raise the country’s debt limit in time to prevent an unprecedented default." Speaking at a Kentucky event, Mnuchin said, “Everybody understands, this is not a Republican issue, this is not a Democrat issue. We need to be able to pay our debts.” McConnell echoed him, saying there's "zero chance" the ceiling doesn't get raised.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login