Target: Geoff Morell, Senior Vice President of British Petroleum
Goal: Do not allow oil company to cheat businesses out of money that is rightfully theirs
In 2012, the U.K.-based oil company, British Petroleum (BP), agreed to a settlement which would compensate businesses around the Gulf oil spill of 2010 for lost profits which were a direct result of the spill. Since the company began paying out settlements, it has been trying to limit how many businesses may file claims and how much they can receive. Now, in 2014, BP has gone as far as to seek repayment—with interest.
In May, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled for a revised policy which limited the number of business which can file claims. Now, in June, BP is looking to the Supreme Court to use this revised policy to recalculate the payouts the company has already made to affected businesses. This would force those businesses which have already received settlements to repay BP.
BP also attempted to revise another large component of its settlement, claiming the geographic area encompassed by the class action suit is too wide and grants claims to those were not directly disadvantaged by the spill.The revision was overruled. Judge Leslie Southwick backed the original terms of the suit, writing, “There is nothing fundamentally unreasonable about what BP accepted but now wishes it had not.”
Tell BP to honor the settlement their company found reasonable enough to agree to two years ago. Do not allow the company to force businesses to pay back compensation of which the court deemed them deserving.
Dear Geoff Morell,
Your company agreed to a settlement in 2012 which would compensate businesses affected by the Gulf oil spill for profits lost due to damage caused by the spill. Two years later, the terms of the settlement have only been changed to benefit BP, limiting the number of claims and the amount of compensation for them. Using these revisions to the policy, your company now hopes to reclaim money given to those businesses which the courts, and the terms of the settlement, agreed they deserved.
The settlement is neither unfair to BP nor overly generous to its recipients. While revisions can and should be made to clarify the parameters of the settlement and ensure fairness, forcing companies to repay compensation they have already received, as determined reasonable by the courts, is not just.
I implore you to halt attempts to reclaim money from businesses which suffered as a direct result of your company’s unsafe business practices.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kris krüg via Flickr