Judge approves $20BILLION settlement over 2010 BP oil spill in the biggest ever environmental pay out in US history

A federal judge granted final approval  to an estimated $20 billion settlement, resolving years of litigation over the 2010 BP oil spill which was caused by an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig (pictured,  the rig on April 21, 2010)

A New Orleans federal judge granted final approval Monday to an estimated $20 billion settlement over the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, resolving years of litigation over the worst offshore spill in the nation’s history.

The settlement, first announced in July, includes $5.5 billion in civil Clean Water Act penalties and billions more to cover environmental damage and other claims by the five Gulf states and local governments.

The U.S. Justice Department has estimated that the settlement will cost the oil giant as much as $20.8 billion, the largest environmental settlement in US history as well as […]

Latinos Increasingly Confident in Personal Finances, See Better Economic Times Ahead

Hispanics more confident in personal finances than in 2008, see better economic times ahead

Yet many economic indicators show few gains for the community since the Great Recession Latinos have become considerably more upbeat about their personal finances and optimistic about their financial future since the Great Recession, according to newly released results from a national survey of Latino adults. The survey also shows that Latinos have pulled even with the general U.S. population in their views of their personal finances and continue to outpace them on optimism about the future. However, community economic indicators show limited progress since the Great Recession.

Four-in-ten Latinos say their personal finances are in “excellent” or “good” shape, […]

Dan Simpson: Wonders never cease

Earlier this month I completed a course on Asian religions at the Chautauqua Institution, taught by a well-informed, skillful teacher, Jeannette Ludwig of the University of Buffalo. Classes dealt with Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, a tall order for five days.

My own personal religious background could be only described as sketchy, intermittent, and sometimes inclined toward attention to local gods. In the course at Chautauqua, I was particularly interested in Hinduism and Buddhism. I know a certain amount about Islam already, having lived for years in Libya, Lebanon, Somalia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, each with significant Muslim populations.

I started out as a […]

Success isn’t just about salary and title


The way social mobility is currently understood is leading us down an economic and social cul-de-sac. New research released by Professor John Goldthorpe showed that social mobility in this country stalled in the latter part of the 20 th century and earlier part of the 21st. This builds on work released this year by the Sutton Trust showing unequal access across powerful and influential positions – from acting to universities. As Goldthorpe argued, relying on education alone to address these issues will not work; he instead suggests reforms to economic policies and to how work is defined.

But something more […]

Two Terrible Ideas, on Their Way to History’s Dustbin


President Ronald Reagan gives a televised address from the Oval Office, outlining his plan for tax reductions in July 1981. (Courtesy of the Reagan Library) A recent Gallup poll found that worries about race relations were at an all-time high in the United States, and it’s easy to see why. This has been a summer of horrific violence born of bias and racism, perpetuating an epidemic of police shootings and mass killings. It has also been a summer of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump baiting crowds at rallies until they scream racial epithets into television cameras, while he promises […]

Fixing wealth inequality: future generations will think us mad, and they will be right

City worker walks past homeless man

‘We ignore the distributional outcomes of globalisation and unfettered market capitalism at our peril.’ Photograph: Rebecca Vale / Alamy/Alamy If there is one global political and economic lesson to be drawn from the Brexit experience and the rise of Sanders and Trump let it be this; we ignore the distributional outcomes of globalisation and unfettered market capitalism at our peril.

Distributional concerns are the traditional preserve of the political left but the political right should now be just as concerned. As Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said: “ just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism […]

Lawyer who filed initial lawsuit against BP over Deepwater Horizon oil spill says settlement irreparably broken

NEW ORLEANS – Daniel Becnel is a longtime attorney working out of his offices in sleepy St. John the Baptist Parish, a rural suburb of New Orleans, where he has over the past 45 years built a thriving plaintiffs’ firm that has increasingly been involved in class action lawsuits, most notably the Deepwater Horizon oil spill class action which he now considers to be deeply flawed.

The self-proclaimed “King of Torts" has been a representative in several notable class actions including the Tobacco Master Settlement in 1998 that saw tobacco companies pay $365 million to a class of smokers. He […]

Multidimensional inequality

Economic orthodoxy over the last six decades thought that the market mechanism would in time reduce economic inequality. This view was based on the 1955 paper by Simon Kuznets who argued that income inequality would first increase, then flatten out and in time decline through the process of market driven economic growth.

Now Thomas Piketty in his landmark study has provided new evidence to show that inequality of both wealth and income has been continuously increasing over the last three centuries.

Subsequently, the Oxfam Institute have come up with the famous estimate that the top one percent of the world’s population […]

Biloxi to join lawsuit seeking more BP oil spill money


Like other communities in South Mississippi, Biloxi received millions from BP for damages after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Tuesday, the City Council hired attorneys to file a claim against other companies involved in the 2010 disaster.“There’s a chance for us to recover more than came from BP,” said Gerald Blessey, city attorney.Attorney Peter Abide of Currie Johnson & Myer and W. Corban Gunn of Corban Gunn will represent the city in the class-action suit under the HESI/Transocean Settlement Program. Potential claims will be filed against Halliburton Energy Services Inc., Halliburton Co., Triton Asset […]

Alabama Senate expected to debate $1 billion BP settlement

state house mug by julie.JPG

(Mike Cason/mcason@al.com) The Alabama Senate is expected today to debate a plan on how the state will use most of a $1 billion settlement with BP over the 2010 oil spill.

A bill that passed the House would authorize a bond issue of about $639 million. BP payments totaling $850 million over 16 years would be used to pay off the bonds.

The biggest portion of the money from the bond issue — $448 million – would be used to pay off debts facing the state General Fund, money that was taken from the Alabama Trust Fund to balance the state […]