News bites: DOE to tout ARPA-E, judge says Feinberg is not independent, and more

A federal judge said Wednesday that Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of BP’s $20 billion oil spill compensation fund, can’t call himself independent.

“A federal judge said Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer paying victims of BP Plc’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, can’t identify himself as an independent administrator of a $20 billion settlement fund,” Bloomberg reports.

“U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans concluded yesterday that Feinberg must fully disclose his ties to BP when communicating with potential claimants. Lawyers for oil-spill victims had questioned Feinberg’s handling of the $20 billion trust fund, known as the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, or GCCF.”

Comments by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) about why the climate bill failed in the Senate last year are getting a lot of attention.

"The consensus behind the climate change bill collapsed and then further deteriorated with the personal and political collapse of Vice President [Al] Gore," Kirk told Greenwire.

And The Guardian got an interview with the anonymous pranksters who last year falsely claimed that Koch Industries had suddenly embraced climate change advocacy.