Tag Archives: BP

BP Will Plead Guilty and Pay Over $4 Billion – NYTimes.com

16 Nov

While the settlement dispels one dark cloud that has hovered over BP since the spill, it does not resolve what is potentially the largest penalty related to the incident: the company could owe as much as $21 billion in pollution fines under the Clean Water Act f it is found to have been grossly negligent. Both the government and BP vowed to vigorously contest that issue at a trial scheduled to begin in February.

Under its deal with the Justice Department, BP will pay about $4 billion in penalties over five years. That amount includes $1.256 billion in criminal fines, $2.394 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for remediation efforts and $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences. The criminal fine is one of the largest levied by the United States against a corporation.

via BP Will Plead Guilty and Pay Over $4 Billion – NYTimes.com.

A Stain That Won’t Wash Away – NYTimes.com

20 Apr

The problem then (and perhaps now) is that it is the slow pileup of factors that causes an industrial disaster. Poor decisions are usually made incrementally by a range of people with differing levels of responsibility, and almost always behind a shield of plausible deniability. It makes it almost impossible to pin one clear-cut bad call on a single manager, which is partly why no BP official has ever been held criminally accountable.

Instead, the corporation is held accountable. It isn’t clear that charging the company repeatedly with misdemeanors and felonies has accomplished anything.

At more than $30 billion and climbing, the amount BP has paid out so far for reparations, lawsuits and cleanup dwarfs the roughly $8 billion that Exxon had to pay after its 1989 spill in Prince William Sound in Alaska. And BP will very likely still pay billions more before this is finished.

And yet it is not enough. Two years after analysts questioned whether the extraordinary cost and loss of confidence might drive BP out of business, it has come roaring back. It collected more than $375 billion in 2011, pocketing $26 billion in profits.

What the gulf spill has taught us is that no matter how bad the disaster (and the environmental impact), the potential consequences have never been large enough to dissuade BP from placing profits ahead of prudence. That might change if a real person was forced to take responsibility — or if the government brought down one of the biggest hammers in its arsenal and banned the company from future federal oil leases and permits altogether. Fines just don’t matter.

via A Stain That Won’t Wash Away – NYTimes.com.

Investigation: Two Years After the BP Spill, A Hidden Health Crisis Festers | The Nation

19 Apr

This article is a horror story of health problems following the Gulf oil spill. Many/most of the afflicted people will probably never be compensated.

It will take years to determine the actual number of affected people. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), with financial support from BP, is conducting several multiyear health impact studies, which are only just getting under way. I spoke with all but one of the studies’ national and Gulf Coast directors. “People were getting misdiagnosed for sure,” says Dr. Edward Trapido, director of two NIEHS studies on women’s and children’s health and associate dean for research at the Louisiana State University School of Public Health. “Most doctors simply didn’t know what questions to ask or what to look for.” There are only two board-certified occupational physicians in Louisiana, according to Trapido, and only one also board-certified as a toxicologist: Dr. James Diaz, director of the Environmental and Occupa-tional Health Sciences Program at Louisiana State University.

Diaz calls the BP spill a toxic “gumbo of chemicals” to which the people, places and wildlife of the Gulf continue to be exposed.

via Investigation: Two Years After the BP Spill, A Hidden Health Crisis Festers | The Nation.

Eyeless Shrimp and the BP Oil Spill – National – The Atlantic Wire

18 Apr

It happened almost exactly two years ago, and as much good news as you read about the return of tourism and the spending of BP’s money to help the recovery efforts, some major problems remain.

We’re most concerned about the eyeless shrimp…. In other parts of the Gulf, fisherman are finding fish covered in black lesions and even dead dolphins floating in the water. Eyeless shrimp or killifish covered in oil-colored spots serve as cringeworthy reminders of how even a small amount of leftover contaminant can do huge amounts of damage to local lifeforms.

But you don’t even have to eat mutant fish to be affected by the spill. A new report by the non-BP-funded Surfrider Foundation shows that humans swimming in the Gulf are soaking up the chemical that BP used to disperse the oil right after the spill.

via Eyeless Shrimp and the BP Oil Spill – National – The Atlantic Wire.

Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says – NYTimes.com

24 Mar

Dolphins in Barataria Bay off Louisiana, which was hit hard by the BP oil spill in 2010, are seriously ill, and their ailments are probably related to toxic substances in the petroleum, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested on Friday.

As part of an ongoing assessment of damages caused by the three-month spill, which began with an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA scientists performed comprehensive physicals last summer on 32 dolphins from the bay. They found problems like drastically low weight, low blood sugar and, in some cases, cancer of the liver and lungs.

Yet the most common symptom among the dolphins, found in about half the group, was an abnormally low level of stress hormones like cortisol. Such hormones regulate many functions in the animal, including the immune system and responses to threats. Scientists said the dearth of hormones suggested that the animals were suffering from adrenal insufficiency.

via Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says – NYTimes.com.

BP vs. Gulf Coast: It’s Not Settled Yet | The Nation

7 Mar

Big Oil has no interest in a trial and has been pushing BP to settle. The 72 million pages of documents and hundreds of witnesses gathered for the trial are likely to reveal damning evidence harmful not only to BP, Halliburton, and Transocean but to every major oil company working in offshore waters today. … the kinds of catastrophic errors that led to the explosions on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killed eleven men, capsized the rig and created a three-month-long uncontrollable oil and gas spill are not only endemic throughout the entire industry, they also remain largely unaddressed. It is expected that even more damning evidence not previously made public would come out at trial. A settlement deal, however, would likely seek to require that all such evidence be kept from the public….

Evidence presented at trial could also prove damning to the Obama administration. In Black Tide, I document the administration’s failure to adequately hold BP to account for its catastrophic Macondo well operations and the subsequent disaster, as well as the administration’s own role in keeping the truth about the scope of the disaster from the public. Again, it is anticipated that even more damning evidence could come to light at trial.

BP does not hold all the cards. It is the world’s fourth-largest company. But it is, like all of the oil industry, heavily dependent on owning, producing and selling oil to maintain that position. BP is the largest producer of oil and gas in the US Gulf Coast. BP is likely willing to make sacrifices in order to maintain these leases and acquire more. A long, drawn-out trial revealing damaging evidence could renew public calls to cancel or at least curtail these leases. BP also does not want the economic uncertainty of a long trial. Finally, it does not want what could easily be a $60 to $70 billion judgment….

via BP vs. Gulf Coast: It’s Not Settled Yet | The Nation.

The Mississippi Delta Must Be Restored – NYTimes.com

28 Jan

The future of all our shellfish and fisheries — shrimp, oyster, redfish, pompano, speckled trout — hinges on restoration of the delta wetlands using the billions that BP and other companies could end up owing. Since a hurricane’s storm surge is reduced by the wetlands it travels across — by as much as a foot for every two and a half miles, according to some scientists — the longevity of New Orleans also relies on the wetlands’ restoration. How else to get all that grain from the heartland to international markets?

via The Mississippi Delta Must Be Restored – NYTimes.com.

Where'd the oil go?

8 Apr

A mashup of video coverage of the ‘end game’ of the Gulf Oil disaster. These people obviously don’t know what they’re talking about, or are deceiving themselves and everyone else.

Courtesy of .