Denounce Light Sentence for Oil Company

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Satellite View

Target: Federal Judge Carl Joseph Barbier

Goal: Condemn the multi-billion dollar pass a judge gave to BP for the spilling of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico

A judge has ruled that BP, the oil company responsible for the massive oil spill the devastated the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Coast, will face a maximum fine that is several billion dollars less than environmentalists were hoping for. The judge who made the ruling claimed that the spill was somehow smaller than the U.S. claimed it was, and said that the company’s response to the spill was “negligent” but not “grossly negligent,” leading to a lower fine.

Oil spills have become a common problem around the U.S., with a new one being reported in Yellowstone Park on Sunday. The frequency and devastation of these spills are clearly due to the negligence of oil companies who think they can get away with their crimes against the environment because the fines they’re issued barely make a dent in their profits. This apathy led to the Gulf Coast spill, which caused massive damage to the environment and to the local economies.

BP does not deserve any leniency for their gross negligence and their poor response to the spill, which wasn’t stopped until months after it started, resulting in the largest marine oil spill in history. By signing this petition, you’ll denounce the judge who decided to give BP a pass by reducing the potential fine against the company by several billion dollars. It’s essential that we keep up the pressure on BP as much as possible to ensure that nothing like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill ever happens again.


Dear Judge Barbier,

You recently ruled that the maximum fine against oil corporation BP under the Clean Water Act will top out at $13.7 billion. This is several billion dollars less than it could have been, but you decided to issue a lesser fine because you did not think that the company’s response to the spill could be considered “grossly negligent,” or that as much oil had spilled as the U.S. claimed. This was in spite of the fact that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is considered to be the largest marine spill in the history of petroleum companies.

As you should know, the gross negligence that led to the explosion and sinking of the BP oil rig caused such a massive oil spill that it could not be contained for months, gushing freely into the water from April to July of 2010. Considering how long this lasted, and the fact that the U.S. government has long been rather sympathetic to oil companies, I find it hard to believe that the response was not grossly negligent or that less oil leaked into the Gulf than was claimed.

Any oil spill causes damage to the local environment, and this spill in particular was incredibly devastating to both the ecosystem and the economy of the Gulf Coast. It’s essential that we send the message to all oil companies that this kind of negligence will come with maximum penalties so that they will be inspired to ensure accidents like the Gulf of Mexico spill never happen. Please consider this in further rulings and refrain from giving BP a pass for their crimes.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Hopefully oil is on the way out, anyway. They will pay in the end.

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