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BP to Challenge Government’s “Excessive” Deepwater Horizon Spill Penalties in Court

Posted By Lidija Grozdanic On February 20, 2013 @ 10:03 am In environmental destruction,News,Water Issues | No Comments

BP oil company, Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, environmental destruction, oil rig accident, Macondo well spill,  U.S. Justice Department BP trial, BP oil spill civil claims, BP Clean Water Act violation, BP civilian penalties [1]

Although BP has plead guilty to manslaughter and agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion in criminal penalties for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster [2], the British oil giant BP is now preparing to defend itself in court against “excessive” civilian penalties. The company could not reach an agreement with the Justice Department for up to $21 billion in fines which would be paid out to Gulf Coast states under the Clean Water Act [3].


BP oil company, Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, environmental destruction, oil rig accident, Macondo well spill,  U.S. Justice Department BP trial, BP oil spill civil claims, BP Clean Water Act violation, BP civilian penalties [4]

A plea deal [5] between BP and the U.S. Justice Department was finalized in January in which BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion for criminal damages related to the 2010 disaster. In later civil proceeding however, the company failed to reach a deal with federal government lawyers over gross negligence allegations and is preparing to face the charges in court. The trial, scheduled to begin on Monday, could result in BP paying additional $21 billion in civil damages.

The blowout at BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 has set off the largest marine spill [6] in US history- an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil. The British oil company claims that the charges for environmental damage are excessive and argues that the $23 billion it already spent on clean-up costs should be taken into consideration by the court.

The trial will be executed in two phases. The first phase will be focused on the causes and degrees of responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon accident. The court will determine whether BP or any other party was grossly negligent, BP said. The second phase, set for September this year, will address the government flow rate estimates from the Macondo spill. BP claims that the estimate of 4.9 million barrels is “inflated” and at least 20 percent too high. The company said it would agree to accept liability for 3.1 million barrels of spilled oil [7].

Via The Guardian [8]

Photos from Wikimedia Commons [9]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/bp-to-challenge-governments-excessive-deepwater-horizon-spill-penalties-in-court/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/02/800px-Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010.jpg

[2] Deepwater Horizon disaster: http://inhabitat.com/local-and-state-governments-sue-bp-for-deepwater-horizon-clean-up-costs-and-economic-losses/

[3] Clean Water Act: http://inhabitat.comClean Water Act

[4] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/02/800px-Controlled_burn_of_oil_on_May_19th.jpg

[5] plea deal: http://inhabitat.com/bp-to-pay-4-billion-plead-guilty-to-manslaughter-as-deepwater-horizon-settlement-is-finalized/

[6] marine spill: http://inhabitat.com/bp-oil-spill-responsible-for-coral-damage-in-gulf-of-mexico/

[7] spilled oil: http://inhabitat.com/shell-finally-accepts-liability-for-nigeria-oil-spills-requiring-1-billion-clean-up/

[8] The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/19/bp-fight-excessive-demands-deepwater

[9] Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Controlled_burn_of_oil_on_May_19th.JPG

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