Correspondent, Mexico
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Feb 10, 2014

Exclusive: Duo tracks double-dipping in U.S. oil firms’ toxic tank cleanup

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – A pioneer in cleaning up toxic messes, Thomas Schruben long suspected major oil companies of being paid twice for dealing with leaks from underground fuel storage tanks – once from government funds and again, secretly, from insurance companies.

Schruben, a detail-oriented Maryland environmental engineer who helped draft government pollution rules going back 30 years, looked for a lawyer to help ferret out what he believed could in some cases be fraud. He found a partner in Dennis Pantazis, a buoyant, mustachioed son of Greek immigrants in Alabama known for bringing environmental and civil rights cases.

Feb 10, 2014

Duo tracks double-dipping in U.S. oil firms’ toxic tank cleanup

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, Feb 10 (Reuters) – A pioneer in
cleaning up toxic messes, Thomas Schruben long suspected major
oil companies of being paid twice for dealing with leaks from
underground fuel storage tanks – once from government funds and
again, secretly, from insurance companies.

Schruben, a detail-oriented Maryland environmental engineer
who helped draft government pollution rules going back 30 years,
looked for a lawyer to help ferret out what he believed could in
some cases be fraud. He found a partner in Dennis Pantazis, a
buoyant, mustachioed son of Greek immigrants in Alabama known
for bringing environmental and civil rights cases.

Jan 15, 2014

Analysis: BP’s U.S. Gulf oil spill settlement challenges may backfire

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – A year after agreeing to a multi-billion dollar settlement with victims of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, BP is aggressively challenging terms of the deal in a legal strategy that could backfire with the judge who will rule on the company’s potentially hefty federal fines.

The British oil giant has pushed for multiple reviews by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, complaining the claims system approved by the U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is overpaying for damages from the country’s worst offshore disaster.

Jan 15, 2014

BP’s U.S. Gulf oil spill settlement challenges may backfire

Jan 15 (Reuters) – A year after agreeing to a multi-billion
dollar settlement with victims of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, BP is
aggressively challenging terms of the deal in a legal strategy
that could backfire with the judge who will rule on the
company’s potentially hefty federal fines.

The British oil giant has pushed for multiple reviews by the
5th Circuit Court of Appeals, complaining the claims system
approved by the U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is overpaying
for damages from the country’s worst offshore disaster.

Jan 13, 2014

Wave of lawsuits follows West Virginia chemical spill

NEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) – People whose drinking water was
contaminated in West Virginia have filed at least 18 lawsuits in
state court against two companies after a chemical spill
affected 300,000 residents and shut down businesses and schools.

Lawyers started filing suits last Friday in West Virginia’s
Kanawha County court, less than 24 hours after the first alarms
were sounded about the release of an industrial chemical into
the Elk River.

Oct 17, 2013

Witnesses say U.S. lawyer used fraud in Chevron case in Ecuador

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. lawyer used fraud to win a historic $18 billion judgment against Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for polluting the Ecuadorean jungle, witnesses said at a trial in New York on Wednesday.

The witnesses were testifying in federal court on behalf of Chevron, which is seeking to prevent lawyer Steven Donziger from profiting from the award, which he won for a group of Ecuadorean villagers in 2011.

Aug 28, 2013

Arkansas homeowners settle suit charging fracking wastewater caused quakes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Five Arkansas residents who sued two oil companies claiming wastewater disposal wells from fracking caused earthquakes that damaged their homes settled with the companies for an undisclosed sum on Wednesday, according to U.S. court documents and the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Several similar suits against the two companies, Chesapeake Energy’s operating subsidiary and BHP Billiton, remain active in federal court in eastern Arkansas, though those may also be settled, the lawyers said.

Aug 27, 2013

Insight: Arkansas lawsuits test fracking wastewater link to quakes

GREENBRIER, Arkansas (Reuters) – Tony Davis, a 54-year-old construction worker in central Arkansas, said he welcomed the boom in natural gas drilling that brought jobs and new businesses to his hometown starting about a decade ago. But that was before the earth shook.

In 2010 and 2011, the quiet farming town of Greenbrier, Arkansas, was rattled by a swarm of more than 1,000 minor earthquakes. The biggest, with a magnitude of 4.7, had its epicenter less than 1,500 feet from Davis’s front porch. “This should not be happening in Greenbrier,” Davis recalls thinking. He said the shaking damaged the support beams under an addition to his home.

Aug 27, 2013

Arkansas lawsuits test fracking wastewater link to quakes

GREENBRIER, Arkansas, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Tony Davis, a
54-year-old construction worker in central Arkansas, said he
welcomed the boom in natural gas drilling that brought jobs and
new businesses to his hometown starting about a decade ago. But
that was before the earth shook.

In 2010 and 2011, the quiet farming town of Greenbrier,
Arkansas, was rattled by a swarm of more than 1,000 minor
earthquakes. The biggest, with a magnitude of 4.7, had its
epicenter less than 1,500 feet (450 meters) from Davis’s front
porch. “This should not be happening in Greenbrier,” Davis
recalls thinking. He said the shaking damaged the support beams
under an addition to his home.

Aug 13, 2013

BP sues U.S. government over contract suspensions after oil spill

NEW YORK (Reuters) – BP Plc is suing the U.S. government for barring the British oil giant from obtaining new federal contracts after the company pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2010 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in southern Texas, claims keeping the ban in place risks causing the company “irreparable harm.”

    • About Mica

      "I cover commodities and general news in Mexico and Central America and as part of the team in Latin America reported on the outbreak of swine flu, a coup in Honduras and the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Before Mexico, I was based in Guatemala for two years."
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