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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It was announced on Friday that Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will participate in a candidate's forum, to be filmed live on Oct. 31 and air in two parts. The forum will air on PBS's Tavis Smiley. Additionally, there will be a 30 minute discussion available exclusively online with questions selected from social media.
The protest over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline turned violent overnight as the police and National Guard sought to remove the protesters, surrounding them with assault vehicles and officers in riot gear. The law enforcement officers used pepper spray and fired bean bags for more than six hours. In response, the protesters "lit debris on fire and threw Molotov cocktails in retreat." One woman pulled out a gun and fired at officers, narrowly missing before being arrested. The protesters claim the pipeline would be constructed on land belonging to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The House has scheduled leadership votes for Nov. 15, the day after members return from their election recess. "Since mid-September, members of the House Freedom Caucus have weighed whether they should ask leadership to push back the elections so they can see how House Speaker Paul Ryan performs at the end of the year," but leaders don't seem inclined to grant their request.