Record Fines For BP In Gulf Disaster Deal

Record Fines For BP In Gulf Disaster Deal
on

After a ruling earlier this week by a federal judge in New Orleans, BP now holds the record for the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history.  The penalty, totaling $4 billion, is strictly related to the criminal conduct of the company that led to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico.

As part of the deal, BP agreed to plead guilty to a total of 14 counts of criminal conduct, which includes charges of felony manslaughter. However, as CNN.com points out, the charges are against the company, not any individuals involved, so prison time for those responsible will not be part of the deal.

The $4 billion criminal penalty does not affect the settlement deals for the victims along the Gulf Coast, nor does it include any environmental fines for the company. Those are separate cases that are still being worked out, and will result in several billions more in financial penalties for the company.

The Agence France-Presse (via Alternet) has more on the pending litigation against the oil giant:

BP is set to return to the Louisiana courthouse on February 25 for a mammoth trial consolidating scores of remaining lawsuits stemming from the worst environmental disaster to strike the United States.

It must also still resolve a civil case on environmental fines which could amount to as much as $18 billion if gross negligence is found. It also remains on the hook for billions in economic damages, including the cost of environmental rehabilitation.

But the monetary penalty could be just the beginning for the company on the criminal side.  As of this writing, two company executives are facing a total of 23 counts in a federal indictment.

The criminal penalty against the company, along with the pending indictments, should provide some solace to those along the Gulf Coast, and even others throughout the country, who were hoping that someone at some level of the company would be held responsible for these actions. 

In the months following the oil leak into the Gulf, Facebook groups, news reports, and citizen action groups called for some form of criminal justice against the company, and while no one is sitting in prison, the $4 billion penalty is certainly a good start.

Record Fines For BP In Gulf Disaster Deal

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine, and his articles have appeared on The Huffington Post, Alternet, and The Progressive Magazine. He has worked for the Ring of Fire radio program with hosts Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Mike Papantonio, and Sam Seder since August 2004, and is currently the co-host and producer of the program. He also currently serves as the co-host of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV, a daily program airing nightly at 8:30pm eastern. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009.  Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced.

Related Posts

on

The international financial organization is a major shareholder in a British insurance company underwriting oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania that may impact a nature reserve and more than 120,000 people.

The international financial organization is a major shareholder in a British insurance company underwriting oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania that may impact a nature reserve and more than 120,000 people.
on

Campaigners say the research shows Total and other oil and gas majors have "stolen the precious time of a generation to stem the climate crisis”.

Campaigners say the research shows Total and other oil and gas majors have "stolen the precious time of a generation to stem the climate crisis”.
on

Campaigners described the newly announced sponsorship deal as "greenwash, plain and simple".

Campaigners described the newly announced sponsorship deal as "greenwash, plain and simple".
on

On the final day of protest, dozens of climate youth activists were arrested as they blocked an intersection near the U.S. Capitol, stressing the need for immediate climate action.

On the final day of protest, dozens of climate youth activists were arrested as they blocked an intersection near the U.S. Capitol, stressing the need for immediate climate action.