Nov 26, 2012
The federal government cleared BP of all criminal charges related to the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including the explosion that killed 11 workers. In exchange, BP agreed to pay 4.5 billion dollars in fines to several government agencies.
Four and a half billion dollars may seem like a large amount. But it’s less than one fifth of the profit BP made in 2011 alone.
BP’s guilty plea on a few charges may make it easier for the courts to punish a few BP managers. But the company itself is off the hook. In fact, government officials are rewarding the company – by continuing to give BP lucrative contracts worth billions of dollars.
This deal clears the way for BP to continue to do exactly what caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the first place. This measly fine was nothing but a license for BP to neglect safety for more profit. And it’s not the first time either. In 2005, an explosion at a BP refinery in Texas killed 15 people. BP pleaded guilty, paid a fine, and moved on … to kill 11 more workers by continuing to neglect safety!