News bites: Upton questions whether climate change is manmade, spill contractors still owed money, and more

Contractors who worked to help clean up last year’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill are still owed money.

“Several companies that were hired to help BP respond to the massive oil spill claim the company or one of its contractors owes them millions of dollars for their work,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

Oil spill victims are arguing that the new methodology for determining losses from the spill is inadequate.

“Oil spill claims czar Kenneth Feinberg's proposed new method for calculating final damage payments doesn't take into consideration the months just before the BP disaster, and several of the hundreds of people who have commented on the proposal say that's unfair,” the Times-Picayune of New Orleans says.

And state lawmakers in Florida want voters to decide whether to permanently block oil drilling near the state’s coast.

“House Joint Resolution 383 would put the issue of near-shore drilling on the 2012 ballot,” a local news channel in Florida reports.

“If that happens, and if it's passed by voters, it would permanently declare Florida a drill-free state, keeping rigs beyond three miles off the state's Atlantic coast, and 10 miles off the Gulf Coast.”