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View Full Version : Clash of the Celebutards: Baldwin Sues Costner (Oil Spill-Related)



Gingersnap
02-14-2011, 11:44 AM
Stephen Baldwin sues Kevin Costner over technology to fight oil spills

Baldwin and an associate allege that they weren't told that a firm had made a deal to lease oil separators to BP after last year's spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They say they learned after selling their interests that a deal had been struck.

By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

February 14, 2011

Actor Stephen Baldwin is locked in a legal battle with fellow actor and director Kevin Costner over a plan to market an oil-spill fighting technology as the Deepwater Horizon crisis started to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, Baldwin and a business associate say they were duped into cashing out their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions, a Louisiana company that leased 32 centrifugal oil separators to BP for an estimated $52 million. Costner helped arrange the deal.

The suit, and interviews with parties involved, cast a different light on Costner's role in promoting what came to be known as the "Costner solution" to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico than was portrayed in the months after the accident. At the time, Costner appeared before Congress, imploring the oil industry to deploy a technology he had nurtured for years.

Few but Costner and his partners knew that Costner did not own the company making the centrifuges, and that he was operating as a celebrity salesman.
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Last week, Costner's lawyers said he did not own a financial interest in or serve on the board of the company that was formed to promote the technology, and they filed to have the suit dismissed.

And the centrifuges that came to be known as the Costner solution have been dismantled, their parts placed in storage. "We do have six of them in a warehouse, and there are suspicions of more around someplace," BP spokeswoman Hejdi Feick said.

The machines were not deployed in the gulf until late last summer, after most of the oil had been skimmed, dispersed or evaporated at sea. They were all but ignored in an 84-page BP report, published in September, that evaluated the various technologies the firm used to combat the oil spill.

Costner says he invested 15 years and about $24 million in development since he bought the technology, which was originally developed with help from the Department of Energy. The machines are designed to suck up oily water and spin it around at high speeds, separating the contaminants from the water.

Unable to build a customer base, Costner in 2004 sold his centrifuge manufacturing company, CINC Industries Inc., of Reno an acronym for "Costner in Nevada Corporation" to Nevada engineer Bret Sheldon.

"Kevin said he didn't want to own CINC anymore and he completely walked away from it," said Sheldon, who markets the technology to chemical, pharmaceutical, food, printing, mining, nuclear and waste-water treatment industries. "The big oil companies don't want to spend millions of dollars on a product like this until they absolutely have to."

The lawsuit and interviews reveal that Ocean Therapy Solutions was formed a few days after the April 20, 2010, explosion on the oil rig, under an agreement that gave it exclusive rights to market CINC machines to BP. It also gave Baldwin and Spyridon Contogouris 10% and 28% interest, respectively, in OTS.

In May 2010, Costner emerged as a spokesman for OTS, focusing international attention on the devices' ability to separate oil and water. On June 8, the day before Costner was scheduled to testify before Congress on the effectiveness of the technology, BP signed a letter of intent to lease 32 CINC machines, according to court documents.

Initial tests conducted in southeastern Louisiana's Port Fourchon in front of BP and government officials produced mixed results.

"We tried the centrifuges out on emulsified oil the consistency of peanut butter," Sheldon recalled. "It gummed up everything. The oil wouldn't even drain out of 3-inch hoses. So we put four centrifuges on a barge in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon site. Out there, we got ideal results."

Baldwin and Contogouris allege that they were excluded from a meeting of BP officials, OTS officers and Costner, which allegedly resulted in an $18-million deposit on an order for 32 centrifuges. The sale generated an estimated profit of $38 million, according to documents filed by Baldwin.

Baldwin and Contogouris later sold their interests in OTS for $500,000 and $1.4 million, respectively, after an OTS officer told them that "BP had not in fact placed an order for the separators," the suit alleges. The two allege that they would not have sold their OTS shares if they had known that BP had agreed to lease the machines.

Costner, through his Louisiana attorney, Wayne Lee, declined comment on the lawsuit or the technology.

In a brief interview, Baldwin said, "Mr. Costner represented something one way when the facts were different. It was a revelation that led me to file the lawsuit."

LOL!

LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-costner-lawsuit-20110214,0,2226004.story)

enslaved1
02-14-2011, 05:13 PM
Now, waitaminute. I thought these great left-thinking people did everything out of the goodness of their great hearts, and weren't greedy, money-grubbing capitlalists? Only those evil conservative big business people are so concerned about money as to have to sue people over it. :rolleyes: Can't they just hold hands and sing Kumbya?

NJCardFan
02-14-2011, 07:14 PM
Now, waitaminute. I thought these great left-thinking people did everything out of the goodness of their great hearts, and weren't greedy, money-grubbing capitlalists? Only those evil conservative big business people are so concerned about money as to have to sue people over it. :rolleyes: Can't they just hold hands and sing Kumbya?

You do know that Stephen Baldwin is a conservative, right?

djones520
02-14-2011, 07:16 PM
You do know that Stephen Baldwin is a conservative, right?

I bet that makes for interesting Thanksgiving Dinners. He is a bit of our version of a moonbat though. Even did the whole "I'm moving to Canada if Obama wins!" thing.

Rockntractor
02-14-2011, 07:20 PM
I bet that makes for interesting Thanksgiving Dinners. He is a bit of our version of a moonbat though. Even did the whole "I'm moving to Canada if Obama wins!" thing.

:rolleyes:

Calypso Jones
02-14-2011, 07:36 PM
I think you're taking that a bit out of context aren't you. I believe i remember that interview type thingy. he was making fun of those who said they'd leave the US for Canada if Bush won. NEITHER did he challenge obama to a fist fight as it is said that he did. He didn't. He said he'd like to knock some sense in his head. of course, i can see how a lib would change that around. Stephen Baldwin has become personna non grata since he announced his political leanings and that he's christian.

Calypso Jones
02-14-2011, 07:45 PM
and frankly to me it looks like Costner did pull a fast one. Can't see how if one is ticked at Madoff, one is not ticked at Costner. Looks like Baldwin and the other guy were snookered. and maybe there's a lot of unconcern because at least one of the two is a conservative and i am not talking about costner. who is a jerk by the way.

NJCardFan
02-14-2011, 08:36 PM
I bet that makes for interesting Thanksgiving Dinners. He is a bit of our version of a moonbat though. Even did the whole "I'm moving to Canada if Obama wins!" thing.

I believe, if he indeed said that, he was mocking his brother who said he'd move to France if Bush won in 2000.

djones520
02-14-2011, 08:38 PM
I believe, if he indeed said that, he was mocking his brother who said he'd move to France if Bush won in 2000.

Possibly.

Rockntractor
02-14-2011, 08:46 PM
Possibly.

He is a born again Christian that is not afraid to talk about it and Christians are okay as long as they keep it too themselves, right Doug. No need for that sort of moonbattery!

enslaved1
02-16-2011, 11:49 AM
You do know that Stephen Baldwin is a conservative, right?

And? My impression from the reading is that Costner was trying to pull a fast one, plugging something w/o admitting his own personal interests in it, while trying to come off all hippy dippy, lovey dovey. So, I say my comment still stands, if not in the original, intended sarcasm, and even if I could have read the piece a little closer before posting. :o