Ongoing oil leak: Taylor Energy is challenging a U.S. Coast Guard claim that the company owes millions of dollars in costs and penalties related to a continuing oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s federal lawsuit, dated Monday, is the latest salvo in a legal battle over the spill that began when Hurricane Ivan toppled a platform in the Gulf in 2004. The company and the Coast Guard have been at odds over what should be done to halt the leak, how much oil has leaked, and whether oil collected from the scene by a contractor hired by the Coast Guard came from an active flow of oil from the Taylor well site. In a letter to Taylor officials on June 2, government lawyers say they will seek $43 million to cover costs of removing the oil, plus civil penalties related to the leak. Read the full story.
Law enforcement: Louisiana would create a study group to make recommendations about how to improve police training and tactics, address misconduct and recognize racial bias by officers, under legislation that moved closer to final passage today. The proposal by Sen. Cleo Fields, a Baton Rouge Democrat, received unanimous backing of the Senate on Sunday and easily sped through the House criminal justice committee without objection. It moves next to the House floor. Read the full story.
Record low: Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week as the benchmark 30-year home loan reached a new all-time low. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported this morning that the average rate on the key 30-year loan declined to 3.13% from 3.21% last week. It was the lowest level since Freddie began tracking average rates in 1971. A year ago, the rate stood at 3.84%. The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 2.58% from 2.62%. Read the full story.