BP Oil Disaster
Holding BP Accountable
On April 20, 2010, a horrific explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and set off the worst corporate-made ecological disaster in our nation’s history.
BP, the corporation responsible for the catastrophe,
is a repeat corporate criminal whose profit-before-people culture has resulted
in myriad environmental and worker safety violations.
addition to accident- and spill-related expenditures, BP faces criminal and
civil fines. These fines must reflect the full scope of laws the corporation
has violated, the severity of the disaster and BP’s history of criminal
negligence. The fines, penalties and collateral consequences – including
debarment from federal contracts – must serve as both a just punishment and deterrence
from future negligence.
November, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a plea agreement with BP that
requires the company to pay $4.5 billion in fines and other payments to settle
to BP’s guilty plea, the government temporarily suspended the corporation from
bidding on lucrative federal contracts. However, reports indicate the
suspension may last only a short period. Public Citizen is calling for a ban
for at least the entirety of BP’s five-year probation period.
Action: Demand that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ban BP from
federal contracts until it has demonstrated over a period of years that it can
The civil trial that will focus on the causes of the
accident is set to begin on Feb. 25, where BP’s remaining liability will be
determined. Liability may include civil fines
under the Clean Water Act and potentially billions more to pay for
environmental and economic projects required under the Oil Pollution Act's
Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.
into the rig explosion reveal that lax regulations allowed BP and its
contractors to prioritize expediency and cost-cutting at the expense of worker
safety and environmental protection.
since this catastrophe, Congress has failed to pass meaningful legislation to
hold the oil industry accountable, reform the regulatory process, and protect
workers and the environment.
View our tally of how many recommendations from
the oil spill task force have been implemented (pdf).
Congressional action is needed to implement the oil spill commission recommendations (pdf)
Take Action:Tell Congress to pass oil spill legislation.
Two years of inaction is unacceptable. It is time to pass the necessary policies and reforms to address the lessons learned from the worst oil spill in U.S. history.