I spent weeks covering the Gulf oil disaster for the National Wildlife Federation, so to hear that BP thinks it can bully the Justice Department into giving it a sweetheart settlement deal? What’s the word I’m looking for?
I recently moved to New Bedford, whose waters have been fouled by not one but two major oil spills in the last 40 years – the Florida barge spill in 1969 and the Bouchard No. 120 spill in 2003. You may not have heard much about either of those spills because New Bedford will never be confused with Miami Beach, but fishermen and wildlife lovers can still tell you plenty about the reduced catches and silent marshes.
Gulf Coast residents can stop me if this sounds familiar: The companies responsible wrote their checks, the government cleaned up what it could & moved on, but the oil from both spills isn’t hard to find.
Tell U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to hold BP fully accountable.
it saves them the trouble of going back to court again and again, like Exxon did after they fouled Prince William Sound.
Initial 1994 Exxon Valdez penalty: $5 Billion.
An appeal in 2006 reduced the fine to $2.5 Billion.
In 2008, the Supreme Court reduced the fine to $508 Million. This occurred in a year when Exxon’s earnings were over $40 Billion.
So far as I can tell, they have actually paid less than $100 Million.
If you can lawyer-up like a major oil company, you can avoid the consequences of doing just about anything.
A speedy settlement is certainly ideal, but is no reason to let an oil giant off the hook – a court ordered Exxon to pay $480 million in interest for dragging its heels for so long.