BP Found Guilty of Gross Negligence and Willful Misconduct for its Role in the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Back in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon disaster began. Four years later, energy company BP has been found guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct, instrumental in the loss of eleven lives.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled yesterday that BP Exploration & Production (BPXP) would be forced to pay billions of dollars in civil penalties under the Clean Water Act. The US government have the authority to quadruple these fines, which would amount to approximately $18 billion.
BP released a statement shortly after the ruling was made.
“BP strongly disagrees with the decision issued today (September 04) by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and will immediately appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,”
“The law is clear that proving gross negligence is a very high bar that was not met in this case. BP believes that an impartial view of the record does not support the erroneous conclusion reached by the District Court.”
The total fine has not yet been established by the courts, however, BP claim that as it stands, the statutory maximum penalty per barrel where the court finds simple negligence is $1,100 and $4,300 for gross negligence or willful misconduct. The US government estimate that 4.2 million barrels were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in what is referred to as the largest and most devastating oil in in history.
The disaster is still surrounded by controversy, particularly that BP allegedly denied access to any members of the press attempting to capture images of the spill from the air and from boats.
Including the Clean Water Act penalty budgeted by BP to cost $3.5 billion, the the Deepwater Horizon disaster has cost BP $43 billion.
For all the latest news and discussion, follow us on Facebook
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Article by Jack Bartrop