This week our coastal team is visiting the city of Austin, Texas with a group of New Orleans city officials, including City Council members Susan Guidry and LaToya Cantrell, and representatives from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the Sewerage and Water Board.
The goal is to learn about how Austin manages its water system, and see if there’s some takeaways as the city of New Orleans tries to create a new water strategy that integrates old and new design.
Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 5:32 am
BP was to blame — that was U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling a week ago in the case over the Macondo well disaster. The judge found Transocean, which was operating the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, and cement contractor Haliburton at fault too. But Barbier said BP was guilty of “gross negligence”. And that could mean that payouts by BP balloon to $50 billion or more ultimately.
Dr. Jim Richardson, professor of public administration and economics at LSU explains some of the business implications.
The 24th Annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference took place in New Orleans last week, bringing to town a few hundred environmental reporters, advocates, scientists, engineers, politicians and more.
Participants got out of the conference rooms to see the levees, bayous, marshes, sinkholes, refineries and rivers that all contribute to the complex region that is Louisiana’s Gulf coast.
Louisiana brown shrimp season started with high prices in May. They stayed up for a while, but recently dropped, by up to a dollar a pound. Rocky Morales works out of Delacroix, La. He says blaming the big price drop on imports doesn’t account for the drastic change.
BP will be appealing a federal judge’s finding that it acted with gross negligence for its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some legal experts say the oil company will have a tough time in the appellate process.
When it comes annual rainfall, New Orleans is the third wettest city in the country, next to Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. Historically, this city below sea level has dealt with large amounts of rain by trying to keep as much water out as possible. Now, urban planners, land conservationists and city officials are trying out new strategies to manage water. Keeping more water in, rather than trying to pump it out, may be better for the city than we thought.
A spokesperson for BP says the tragedy of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was covered in great depth, but media have underreported the resilience the Gulf Coast has shown the last four years, and BP's role in its recovery.
Geoff Morrell is Senior Vice President for US Communications at BP. He addressed a few hundred reporters in New Orleans for the international Society of Environmental Journalists conference. Morrell defended BP’s record since the oil spill.