Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon explosion
Image courtesy SkyTruth

Today when a Texas House panel hosted a hearing to get an update on money from BP after the Deep Water Horizon explosion, lawmakers learned about money BP gave to the Governor’s office, without looping the Legislature in.

The extent of the environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the BP oil disaster is largely unknown to the public; much of the data remains sealed because of litigation. But now scientists at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are shedding important new light on the subject. And the news is not good. 

A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill where 11 men died in April of 2010, the AP reports.

As we reported back in January, federal authorities blamed Transocean "for acting negligently when the rig's crew proceeded with maneuvers to the deep-sea well in the face of clear danger signals that oil and natural gas were flowing."

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.

"The first criminal charges in connection with the BP oil spill have been filed against a former BP engineer named Kurt Mix," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports exclusively.

Carrie just told our Newscast unit that Mix has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text messages after the spill. The texts were related to the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf. Mix will make his first appearence in court today.

Leffingwell photo by Carlos Morales for KUT News; Padron photo courtesy APD; Acevedo photo by KUT News.

Funeral, Motorcade for Officer Padron Today

Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo are among the scheduled speakers at the funeral of a fallen APD officer today.

APD Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron will be laid to rest today. Padron was killed Friday while responding to a call at an area Wal-Mart early Friday morning, April 6.

Funeral services for Padron start at 11 a.m. at Shoreline Church on Burnet Road. The funeral will be with complete police honors. At the conclusion of the services, Padron’s body will be taken to San Angelo for burial.

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Committee Supports Expanding City Council, District Representation

Yesterday, a city committee recommended a major change to the Austin City Council: That it expand from seven members to 11, and members move from city-wide (at-large) representation to district representation.  The recommendation was far from unanimous, passing on an 8-7 vote.

Deepwater Horizon explosion
Image courtesy SkyTruth

In one of the most detailed accounts of the explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig earlier this year, New York Times reporters David Barstow, David Rohde, Stephanie Saul and Ian Urbina tell the story of a disaster that killed 11 men and led to one of the largest environmental catastrophes in United States history.