+ Kenneth Feinberg has acknowledged a bottleneck in the oil spill claims process, effectively suspending his promise to pay all claims within a week while the Gulf Coast Claims Facility deals with the initial backlog. While they wait, thousands of Gulf Coast residents have bills to pay, and many are facing financial hardship.

+ Preliminary studies are showing that in many respects, this spill could be significantly less severe than the Exxon Valdez, according to the New York Times.

+ Burning fossil fuels may pose an even greater threat to sea life than oil spills, argues Alanna Mitchell.

+ Sen. Bill Nelson is trying to cut tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas companies in pending small business legislation, but the American Petroleum Institute is trying to stop him.

+ A new wave of oil has been spotted near Louisiana.

+ BP’s decision to pump leftover drilling fluid back into the Macondo well may have thrown off pressure readings.

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New higher ed appointee’s company donated big to Republicans last year

Gov. Rick Scott yesterday announced the reappointment of Ava Parker and the appointments of Joseph Caruncho and Thomas Kuntz to the State University System's Board of Governors. Caruncho, a Palmetto Bay native, is the co-founder and COO of Preferred Care Partners Inc., and previously worked as a corporate health care attorney. As we've previously reported, Preferred Care poured money into Republican Party coffers last year, donating at least $190,000.