News bites: The latest from BP’s spill trial, the future of energy R&D, and more

The Associated Press reports on BP’s civil trial over the huge 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Washington Post has a story on the state of U.S. energy R&D.

“U.S. energy R&D has been growing in recent years, though levels are still below their peak in the 1970s — and they’re set to drop in the years ahead,” the paper notes.

It’s also dwarfed by spending in other areas. Check out the analysis here.

National Geographic explains efforts to rewrite Alaska’s state tax structure for oil companies. From their story:

Alaska's State House is working on a bill already passed by the Senate that would overturn the state's progressive oil tax structure, which increases the taxes oil companies pay as the price of oil rises. Supporters of the overhaul bill, which was written by Republican Governor Sean Parnell, say the tax break will help boost dwindling oil production in Alaska, which was overtaken by North Dakota last year as the number two oil-producing state.

Bloomberg unwraps the complicated state of the United Nations’ carbon emissions credit market.