US seeks reinstatement of charge in BP spill case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Prosecutors have urged a federal appeals court in New Orleans to reinstate a criminal charge alleging that a former BP executive obstructed a congressional investigation about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Wednesday's case involves allegations that David Rainey failed to disclose information from BP PLC indicating that the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon explosion could be far higher than estimates being made publicly.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Englehardt threw out the obstruction-of-Congress charge against Rainey. At issue is whether the law Rainey is accused of breaking applied to congressional subcommittee investigations.

Regardless of the appeal decision, Rainey still faces a charge of lying to law enforcement agents. And prosecutors have also obtained a new, re-worded indictment on the obstruction charge.

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