Two years after the Gulf of Mexico damaging oil spill, pleads guilty for 11 deaths. This Thursday, BP announced it has agreed to a $4.5 billion settlement with the U.S. government over the 2010 oil spill.
The $4.5 billion settlement includes the biggest criminal penalty in the nation’s history but we wonder what else was taken of a list that includes manslaughter charges and lying to the Congress. It’s also not even close if you ask environmental groups and it’s also not the end of penalties.
“We believe this resolution is in the best interest of BP and its shareholders” said BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. “It removes two significant legal risks and allows us to vigorously defend the company against the remaining civil claims” he added about the $4.5 billion settlement.
Since the 2010 oil spill, BP has changed management hoping it will be enough to convince investors everything is fine. Yet, two years haven’t been enough, as the $4.5 billion settlement is something everybody agrees is not enough. It also raises questions about the other charges that were dropped off the list for a certain price.
The $4.5 billion settlement features payments worth $2.4 billion for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences and $500 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement has BP pleading guilty for the oil spin and 11 felony charges of misconduct and neglect. BP is also agreed to play guilty for lying to the Congress about how much oil actually spilled.
“With these unprecedented criminal penalties assessed, I urge the Obama administration to be equally aggressive in securing civil monies that can help save our Louisiana coast” argued Louisiana Senator David Vitter. “I certainly hope they didn’t trade any of those monies away just to nail this criminal scalp to the wall” he added.
The BP deal has already drawn a lot of criticism from environmental groups. “This fine amounts to a rounding error for a corporation the size of BP” reacted Greenpeace.
And families of people who died during the Golf Mexico oil spill agree the settlement and charges are not exactly helding someone accountable for what happened. “It just bothers me so bad when I see the commercials on TV and they brag about how the Gulf is back, but they never say anything about the 11 lives that were lost” said Nelda Winslette of Yorktown Texas. “They want us to forget about it, but they don’t know what they’ve done to the families that lost someone”.