BP, Clean Water Act, Damages, Deepwater Horizon, Environmental Law, Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton, Judge Barbier, Oil Spill, Transocean
Ruling On The 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Well Blowout, by Sabrina I. Pacifici, BeSpacific Blog
BP has already said that it will immediately appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Among the errors BP asserts by Judge Barbier, it disagrees with the number of billions of gallons of oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon rig. BP is trying to stop the bleeding. Every gallon of oil that spewed into the Gulf has a price tag for damages.
BP maintains a website with its version of the facts and its commitment to safety. Its argument was not sufficient to sway Judge Barbier. Halliburton and Transocean were not hit as hard as some would have liked, but they were found to bear some of the responsibility for the disaster as well.
It will be interesting to see whether this ruling affects environmental cases, off-shore drilling, and oil and gas ventures in general in the future. -CCE
New York Times: ‘A federal judge ruled on Thursday that BP was grossly negligent in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil well blowout that killed 11 workers, spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and soiled hundreds of miles of beaches. ‘BP’s conduct was reckless,’ United States District Court Judge Carl J. Barbier wrote in his sternly worded decision. Judge Barbier also ruled that Transocean, the owner of the rig, and Halliburton, the service company that cemented the well, were negligent in the accident. But the judge put most of the blame on BP, opening the way to fines of up to $18 billion under the Clean Water Act. In a 153-page, densely technical decision, Judge Barbier described how BP repeatedly ignored mounting warning signs that the well was unstable, making decisions that he says were ‘primarily driven by a desire to save time and money, rather than ensuring that the well was secure.’
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