News bites: New revelations about California pipeline disaster, Schwarzenegger comes to Washington, and more

Arch Coal, the second-largest coal supplier in the country, got smacked with a huge fine Tuesday for violating the Clean Water Act.

Reuters has the story: “Arch Coal Inc (ACI.N) will pay a $4 million penalty for clean water violations at its mining operations in three states, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Washington Wednesday to talk about climate change and energy innovation.

“Giving the keynote address at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit here Tuesday, Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a call to end the false debate over climate science, to stop assuming China will provide new green tech cheaper and faster than the United States and to stop pretending that global warming won't affect people for decades,” MSNBC reports.

A Libyan official, quoted anonymously by the Associated Press, said oil exports out of the country will continue at normal levels for the time being.

“The official said production in the east had declined by just over 50 percent, but that full storage tanks meant exports were continuing at normal levels for now,” the Associated Press reports.

“But given the fluidity of the political developments in Libya and the lack of credible information on actual field production levels, analysts and experts are at a loss to offer more than guesses about how much of the country's daily output of roughly 1.6 million barrels is still onstream.”

Few people have so far accepted offered lump-sum final Gulf of Mexico oil spill compensation payments.

“Records show that in the last two weeks more than 8,100 people and businesses have been offered final payments from BP's oil spill compensation fund, but few have accepted so far,” the Associated Press says.

“Gulf Coast Claims Facility data show that only about 2.5 percent have accepted. Claimants have 90 days to accept or reject a final offer from the $20 billion fund.”

Meanwhile, the court battle over how much Exxon Mobil should pay from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill continues.

“Exxon Mobil Corp. says it has paid enough for the 1989 Alaska oil spill, but a judge will hear arguments Friday that the company still owes nearly $100 million to remove oil from the Prince William Sound shoreline,” The New Tribune of Alaska reports.

“Federal District Court Judge Russel Holland scheduled arguments in response to a court motion filed by Anchorage oceans activist Rick Steiner. At issue is a $92 million claim filed by the state and federal governments in 2006, arguing the oil is degrading too slowly and continues to harm wildlife. State and federal officials haven't taken further action to collect the money, and Steiner said he's trying to force the issue.”