Oil Company to Face Felony Charges Over Massive California Spill


In this May 21, 2015, file photo, workers prepare an oil containment boom at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., two days after a ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years. (photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)
In this May 21, 2015, file photo, workers prepare an oil containment boom at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., two days after a ruptured pipeline created the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25

 

Samantha Page | Think Progress | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2016

he company responsible for spilling 140,000 gallons of oil on the Pacific coastline near Santa Barbara, California, has been indicted on 46 charges, including four felony charges. One employee of Plains All American Pipeline was also indicted.

The company faces up to $2.8 million in fines plus additional costs and penalties, which would be split between the state and Santa Barbara County. The employee, 41-year-old environmental and regulatory compliance specialist James Buchanan, faces up to three years in jail.

“Crimes against our environment must be met with swift action and accountability,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement. “This conduct is criminal and today’s charges serve as a powerful reminder of the consequences that flow from jeopardizing the well-being of our ecosystems and public health.”

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How to Avoid an Estate Battle After You Die


 | New York Times | June 14, 2013

It might seem that a woman who died at 104 after spending 20 years in a hospital despite being healthy enough to live in one of her three stately homes, accumulated a vast collection of dolls and preferred to communicate in French even though her father had been a United States senator would have little to teach the rest of us.

But two years after the death of that woman, Huguette Clark, the last surviving daughter of William A. Clark, who made a fortune in copper mining, her $300 million estate is still being disputed. And the battle has plenty of lessons for people with far less money.

At issue in Mrs. Clark’s case are two wills signed six years before her death in 2011. The first would have left most of her fortune to 21 distant relatives she did not know, may never have met and did not list by name. The second, signed a month later, increased the bequest for her caregiver, gave money to a goddaughter and established a foundation at her mansion in Santa Barbara, Calif., for her art and doll collection. The distant relatives got nothing.

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