The effects of the catastrophic BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico spread all the way to a Philadelphia courtroom last week when lawyers for Valero Energy Corp. and Premcor Refining Group asked a federal judge to delay a trial because jurors are biased right now against the entire oil industry.

“Defendants’ chances of obtaining a fair trial at this time are non-existent,” the companies argued, citing a recent survey which, they said, “reveals that potential jurors now harbor significant prejudices and strongly held opinions against oil and gas companies regardless of their affiliation, if any, with BP.”

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