To add insult to injury, the U.S. Government is now removing the sanctions on new drilling imposed against BP after the Deepwater tragedy. This is known as a debarment proceeding. The EPA is charged with this oversight, and in spite of 15 fatalities in Texas City, the Alaska pipeline disaster, the Deepwater rig explosion killing 11 more, a guilty plea and $200 million in penalties for price fixing, $87 Million in additional OSHA fines for unsafe work practices and the fact that they have received over 95% of ALL knowing violations for OSHA workplace rules in the entire petrochemical industry, this prohibition was removed. No public hearings, no more Congressional inquiries (such as the one BP executives lied at on the amount of oil spilling into the gulf and their lack of forewarnings). BP was on Probation for FELONY MANSLAUGHTER convictions when the Deepwater rig exploded, and that probation subsequently lapsed with no fanfare either.
Right now BP is undertaking a massive public relations and litigation strategy to get out of paying most of the claimants suffering from the results of BP’s own reckless abandon and thirst for oil and at the same time our own government is taking their foot off BP’s neck, when they PROMISED that they would stay on them until full reparations had been made.
Presently only 25% of the claims submitted to the Deepwater Settlement program were honored before BP sought injunctive relief on paying any future claims, and that doesn’t take into account that this settlement still carved out hundreds of thousands of victims who worked in industries such as gaming, real estate, financial, municipal and offshore. None of them have any recourse yet, nor do they have any date in the future to even contemplate any resolution, as BP has put all of them on ice indefinitely.
The “additional requirement” that BP live up to a set of standards going forward with the EPA is a joke, as they were ostensibly working under such standards after the plea agreement for manslaughter in Texas City only to be fined again by OSHA for FAILURE TO LIVE UP TO THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT…the very thing that everyone is charging them with now on the Economic & Property Damage Settlement emanating from negotiations in the MDL 2179 proceeding in New Orleans. BP even failed to negotiate a compromise with the government on the damages owed for the spill to the United States, which forced a protracted trial and further delayed resolution to all of the other claims. Even now they are awaiting a decision on that matter, one which they will also likely appeal”.
I don’t know what is more unconscionable, what BP did in the first place, or what the government is doing now as part of BP’s “punishment”.
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