Oil Spill Update: Case Against BP
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted June 3-6 found that Americans overwhelmingly consider the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to be a major environmental disaster, and 64% of those polled think that the federal government should pursue criminal charges against BP and other companies involved in the spill.
On the Today Show yesterday, President Obama slammed BP’s CEO for his comments regarding the spill, such as "I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest." The president also stressed that he’s determined to discover “whose ass to kick.” Watch his interview in the video below.
Finally, a few numbers of interest:
BP says it has already spent over $1 billion in gross direct costs for the response, clean up, and relief wells.
Currently, there’s a $75 million cap on the economic damages a “responsible party” is liable for, on top of discharge removal costs. The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act of 2010, introduced in Congress in May, would increase the cap on to $10 billion.
For a Clean Water Act violation, the maximum fine is $25,000 a day and up to one year in prison for a conviction based on negligence, and $50,000 a day and up to three years in prison for a conviction based on conduct shown to be done “knowingly.”
Exxon Mobil paid a $125 million criminal fine for the Valdez spill in Alaska.
Approximately 15.5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
BP’s latest scheme to capture oil, the “cut and cap” is collecting about 15,000 barrels a day; to date, all efforts to plug the leak have failed.