The BP fine over the Macondo Gulf of Mexico disaster was unexpected, at least by BP. The company had put aside $3.5 billion to pay its way out of the Clean Water Act violations and has fully intended to continue business as usual. However, Federal District Court Judge Carl Barbier in his 153 page decision ruled that BP is “grossly negligent” and engaged in decisions that were “profit” rather than “safety” driven. The finding of “gross negligence” increases the amount of the fine by up to four times. If the company had been found merely negligent, the fines could be $1,100 per barrel spilled. Gross negligence ups that to $4,300 per barrel.
BP continues to contest the amount spilled and has hired the the best science that money can buy and shady public relations advisors to convince the world that they didn’t really spill all that much oil. Expect the appeal process to focus on that. Meanwhile, according to the article below published by the Bellona Foundation, thousands of people affected by the disaster and the clean-up efforts are so sick that they will never work again, and never have normal lives.
BP found guilty of ‘gross negligence’ in Deepwater Horizon spill – victims far from rejoicing
By Charles Digges, Bellona Foundation. Sept. 5, 2014
NEW ORLEANS – British oil giant BP’s “gross negligence” and “profit-driven decisions” in the Gulf of Mexico was directly responsible for the worst accidental oil spill in history, Federal District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled in New Orleans Thursday – to a tepid reception from those a possible settlement might benefit.
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which BP leased and operated, exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 men and spewing 4.9 million of barrels of oil and plodded through 87 days of hit and miss attempts to plug it until it finally manage to seal it.