Monday, June 21, 2010
At last—lawsuit asks $19 billion in fines from BP
by Larry Geller
Under the federal Clean Water Act, BP should be fined $4,300 for each barrel leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.
You’ve probably noticed that no one in the Obama administration has moved to collect these fines from BP. Why? Well, I can only guess. They don’t want to make BP unhappy in an election year.
Finally, someone is taking action.
The Center for Biological Diversity has announced a $19 billion lawsuit against BP.
Check out the details here.
I imagine that the fines will have to be figured out should the lawsuit succeed. BP, of course, has been stating spill volumes as low as they could, from the start.
Newly released internal documents show the oil giant BP estimates its Gulf of Mexico oil spill could top 100,000 barrels or over four million gallons of oil per day. The number far exceeds the government’s worst-case estimate of 2.5 million gallons, or 60,000 barrels a day. It’s also 100 times the spill rate BP initially claimed and twenty-times what it later told Congress. [Democracy Now, Documents: BP Privately Estimates Spill of 100,000 Barrels a Day, 6/21/2010]
They also released rather poor videos of the leak when (as recently came out) they had a high-definition webcam operating also. This made it difficult for scientists to evaluate how much oil was actually being released.
(Thanks to Viviane Lerner for pointer to original story)