...BP PLC already has agreed to pay billions of dollars in criminal fines and compensation to people and businesses affected by the disaster. But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling could nearly quadruple what the London-based company has to pay in civil fines for polluting the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 spill.
Barbier presided over a trial in 2013 to apportion blame for the spill that spewed oil for 87 days in 2010. Eleven men died after the well blew.
The judge essentially divided blame among the three companies involved in the spill, ruling that BP bears 67 percent of the blame; Swiss-based drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. takes 30 percent; and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton Energy Service takes 3 percent.
In his 153-page ruling, Barbier said BP made "profit-driven decisions" during the drilling of the well that led to the deadly blowout.
"These instances of negligence, taken together, evince an extreme deviation from the standard of care and a conscious disregard of known risks," he wrote.
BP is of course going to appeal the decision - 'cause God forbid they'll openly accept the blame after fighting this for four years - but are claiming they believe "that an impartial view of the record does not support the erroneous conclusion reached by the District Court."
You want impartial?
- Eleven workers died.
- A massive explosion happened on a BP-owned oil rig, from what turned out to be from years of intentional negligence ignoring safety standards, all in a rush to get a rig running to churn out billions in profits.
- A massive ecological disaster occurred as millions of gallons of crude oil - toxic, stifling - poured into the Gulf on a scale that dwarfed all previous oil spills.
- Eleven families lost their loved ones.
- Entire industries dependent on the Gulf for living - tourism, fishing - were wiped out or hit hard, and will remain so for years to come.
- What part of "eleven men lost their lives" do you not get, BP?
It doesn't help BP's case that they've been slow to pay up for damages they've already agreed to own up. Like any crook, they are loathe to part with the money
Some of the online chatter about BP's corrupt practices here, about the satisfaction that finally someone in authority is holding this corporation accountable for the blood on their ledger, is about how the insane rhetoric of the uber-rich claiming "corporations are people" ought to let this follow that logic to its rightful conclusion: putting BP as a corporation on death row for the deaths it caused. There's a part of that which comes across as poetic justice: the truth is that will never happen, as it's impossible to strap a company logo down into the electric chair. What should happen is that the courts - that Judge Barbier - should start forcing the CEOs and board of directors of these negligent criminal corporations to pay up in total all that they should.
No more delays. No more excuses. Pay all the damn fines and then some. If these corporate overlords of malice and inhumanity refuse to, then throw them in jail until they do. Did you know Exxon - the company responsible for the other major oil spill from hell the Valdez - still hasn't paid off their fines they had agreed to pay (they're still fighting it in the courts)? Make them - Exxon, BP, all the other corporations wrecking havoc across our world - accountable to the law. MAKE THEM ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED.
We are long overdue for true justice.