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The "But Its Not Fair" Defense

On Monday, BP filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in U.S. district court for the southern district of Texas, accusing the agency of improperly suspending it late last year from receiving any new federal contracts.

The suspension, which the EPA said was based on BP’s lack of business integrity, was issued after the company pleaded guilty to 14 criminal counts for its illegal conduct leading to and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and was sentenced to pay $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties. It also had to submit to independent monitoring throughout a five-year probation.

In short, BP claims that it has paid its dues for the 2010 oil spill tragedy, which dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of 87 days, killed 11 workers, and harmed or killed thousands of birds, sea turtles, marine mammals and other aquatic life. BP apparently thinks it is being unfairly punished by the U.S. government.

Public Citizen maintains that the suspension is a prudent and obligatory application of federal contracting law and has called on the EPA to extend the ban from U.S. government contracts for at least the entirety of its five-year probation period.

BP’s lawsuit represents nothing more than a temper tantrum in response to being held accountable for its criminal behavior and arrogant corporate culture.

Watch Public Citizen Energy Program Director Tyson Slocum educate Breitling Oil and Gas CEO Chris Faulkner on BP’s lawsuit against the EPA.