Oil Rig

The second part of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill trial begins today in New Orleans after a brief summer hiatus. The culpability of government contractors BP, Halliburton, and Transocean will be investigated during the trial.

During phase two, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier will determine how much oil actually spilled into the gulf, a figure that is hotly debated. Government scientists estimate a staggering 4 million gallons, but BP unsurprisingly places the number lower at 2.45 million gallons. In 2011, the Project On Government Oversight wrote a letter to President Obama questioning the validity of the Administration’s investigation into the spill size.