Target: Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General
Goal: Praise $20.8 billion fine against those responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
BP has been fined a record $20.8 billion for their involvement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, one of the worst disasters of its type in history. The company, which was found guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct in 2014, repeatedly failed to repair defective pieces of the semi-submersible offshore drilling rig, including pieces damaged in previous accidents. The investigations after the disaster revealed that BP, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, often elected for riskier, less costly fixes and intimidated employees in order to deter them from reporting safety issues that would hold up drilling for any period of time.
The explosion on the Deepwater rig claimed the lives of 11 workers and injured many more. The effects of the spill on the natural environment were devastating and are still being felt today. The oil and the dispersants used to clean it have had toxic effects on ocean wildlife, including bluefin tuna and bottlenose dolphins, decimating populations of fish, seabirds, and marine plant life. The oil continues to contaminate coastal U.S. beaches as well as small gulf islands which were once thriving habitats for marine life.
The fine levied against the oil giant will be divided among several parties in order to help repair the damage that the disaster caused. Around $5 billion will go to the Gulf states, where the natural landscape and ocean ecosystems have been severely damaged. Another $1 billion will go to the U.S. coast guard as an emergency response fund for future oil spills, while $4.4 billion will be managed by the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which focuses on ecological restoration and economic development. Finally, $8.1 billion will go to natural resource claims under the Oil Pollution Act, which will be used for further cleanup, on top of the reported $28 billion already spent.
This fine, though only one of many judgments against the company, is important because it specifically punishes the company for their negligence and lack of adherence to safety standards. The money collected from BP will help to further repair the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill, as well as help the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to similar accidents in the future. Sign the petition below to applaud the record fines levied against BP oil.
Dear Attorney General Lynch,
British Petroleum will be fined $20.8 billion in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, a large increase from the $18.7 billion that the company previously agreed to. The money will be used to repair damage caused by the disaster as well as create an emergency response fund for future oil spills.
This fine is not only congruent with the severity of the oil spill, but will serve as a powerful deterrent for negligence and corner-cutting in the oil industry. We, the undersigned, applaud the massive fines levied against BP.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard