Laws & Regulations

"EPA Halts Federal Contracts For BP"

"The Obama administration put a temporary stop to new federal contracts with British oil company BP on Wednesday, citing the company's 'lack of business integrity' and criminal proceedings stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The action by the Environmental Protection Administration won't affect current contracts, but prevents BP and its affiliates from new government contracts 'until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards,' the agency said."

Source: AP, 11/29/2012
December 6, 2012

Election 2012 – 30 Days Later: What Happened and What's Next

Thirty days after the 2012 election, join Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and the Public Affairs Council in DC to hear about "what happened and what's next" from four leading national journalists covering the energy and environment, economy and business, health and technology sectors. 8 to 10 a.m. EST. Free event but RSVP required by November 30th.

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BP's Profits-First Culture Prompts 11 Felony Guilty Pleas, $4.5B Fines

"Citing gross negligence and what it called the company's profits-first culture, the federal government on Thursday announced it had entered into a settlement with BP of all criminal claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, fining the company a record $4.5 billion and securing 11 felony pleas from the company for the 11 people killed in the April 2010 blast."

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/16/2012

Congress Sends Bill Strengthening Whistleblower Protection to Obama's Desk

Whistleblowers are key sources for investigative journalists. The bill, approved by unanimous consent in the House and Senate, was hailed by watchdog groups Government Accountability Project and Project on Government Oversight, who had fought for its passage.

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ABC News Urges Judge To Toss Out "Pink Slime" Defamation Suit

In September, South Dakota meat processor Beef Products, Inc., had sued ABC, some of its anchors and correspondents, and a USDA microbiologist under South Dakota law for reporting on the controversial meat filler. The company said it would oppose the October 31st motion to dismiss.

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January 25, 2013

Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Production

Cosponsored by the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section, the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Section of the State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University School of Law, this one-day course will offer focused, insightful information about the hottest issues surrounding the environment and the oil and gas industry.

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November 13, 2012 to November 14, 2012

Workshop: Understanding the Connections between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health

This free National Academies Institute of Medicine workshop in Washington DC will bring together members of the ecology, ecosystem services, and health communities to gain a better understanding of the connections between coastal waterways and ocean processes and public health risks and benefits. A live webcast of the workshop will also be available for those who are unable to attend in person.

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State, Federal Whistleblower Rules a Key Tool for Journalists

Watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility's new guide to state whistleblower laws starts with a map — click on any state to link to its whistleblower law and other related info. Federally, there is currently a bill in play in Congress which would strengthen the notoriously weak federal whistleblower protections.

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