Molly Cotter

Prosecutors Prepare First Criminal Charges Against BP for Deepwater Horizon Disaster

by , 12/29/11
filed under: News, Water Issues

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The media is buzzing this morning with news that federal prosecutors are preparing the first criminal charges against BP in connection with the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The disaster, which killed 11 people and took over 5 months to seal, made headlines last year as the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Sources say prosecutors are focusing on numerous engineers and employees at British Petroleum who may have provided false safety and risk information about the well to regulators.



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While BP has previously commented that they are not solely to blame for the disaster (accusing Halliburton of destroying evidence and pointing fingers at a number of outside factors), the company already potentially faces charges in violation of the federal Clean Water Act and over $30 million in fines. In addition, BP will deal with hundreds of lawsuits from coastal property and business owners claiming damages from the enormous spill. The Department of Justice could still decide not to press charges against individuals, as the threat is often used to pressure people into cooperating with investigations.

The felony charges connected with providing false information, if brought forward, may be disclosed early next year and carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine for each individual BP employee.

Via NPR

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2 Comments

  1. NewLifeLinen December 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I hope that the truth comes out and regulations for companies procedures are established as International law. American companies such as BP (a company that used to be called British Petroleum but changed it’s name when it clearly had a majority of US shareholders!) need to act better in the third world and hopefully this disaster on home soil will change things for the better globally.

  2. sylrayj December 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    While there cannot be an adequate punishment – something to somehow correct the damage done – I hope that whatever is decided is both strong enough to keep others from making these same mistakes and not so heavy-handed that the judicial system is no longer trusted.

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