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OFFSHORE DRILLING:

Texas awards research grants from Gulf spill fines

Texas has chosen two universities to carry out the research component of the federal RESTORE Act, which provides funding for the five Gulf states affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster to study and monitor the region's recovery.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality last week awarded grants to the University of Houston and Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi to lead two consortia to establish centers of excellence in the Lone Star State. Backed by a combined $4.1 million from the RESTORE Trust Fund, the UH consortium will focus on sustainable and safe offshore energy development, and the Texas A&M group will handle the restoration and protection of the state's coast and deltas.

OFFSHORE DRILLING:

Judge lowers BP's max fine to $13.7B, puts spill estimate at 3M barrels

BP PLC faces a maximum $13.7 billion fine for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill after a federal judge yesterday ruled that the accident released more than 3 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The ruling from Judge Carl Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana lowered the upper limit on the penalties from $18 billion because he found less oil was spilt than the government contended. However, it would still be the largest oil spill penalty in the country's history.

WATER POLLUTION:

EPA proposes new rule for chemical dispersants

U.S. EPA today announced a plan to update regulations governing the use of oil-dispersing chemicals such as those that were used to respond to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a move that drew guarded praise from environmental groups.

EPA said it is amending requirements under the National Contingency Plan, which serves as the nation's blueprint for responding to oil spills and hazardous chemical releases and includes a list of dispersants that are either authorized or eligible to be pre-authorized for use.

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About this report

The sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst oil spill in U.S. history. E&E examines the response to the spill, the politics of offshore drilling, and the aftermath for Gulf species and industries.

Industry

Politics

Natural Resources

Response