TagU.S. Justice Department

BP trial exposing the risks of extreme offshore drilling


The ongoing BP civil trial here in New Orleans continues to expose two things: The human tragedy and sorrow of what happened aboard the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig on that night nearly four years ago, and the many blunders and greed-laced miscalculations that made it happen. Yesterday, we heard some heartbreaking testimony from one of the rig workers who survived the explosion, Transocean...

BP begs for settlement as sharpened sword of justice looms


In a few hours, the government’s massive civil case against BP in the Deepwater Horizon spill is finally slated to come to trial. As we noted on the blog last week, it’s unusual for a case this large — with so much to lose for both sides — to come before a judge. The fact that the U.S. Justice Department has been pressing forward is a powerful signal of confidence by the...

Public will finally get its day in court against BP


There’s good and bad news out of New Orleans this week concerning the ongoing legal fight over BP’s gross negligence in the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that killed 11 workers and spilled roughly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  The U.S. government’s long awaited, multi-billion-dollar civil case against the British-based oil giant is slated to come to trial in...

It’s about time: Feds bar BP from new contracts


I rarely get a chance to say this, but the feds are on a roll when it comes to the matter of BP. Although I’ve been quite critical over the last two-and-a-half years of the government’s response to the Deepwater Horizon spill, there’s little to criticize in its recent aggressive posture toward the oil giant and its wanton recklessness that killed 11 workers and caused massive...

UPDATED: The “largest criminal penalty in U.S. history” still isn’t enough to make BP pay for its crimes against the Gulf


UPDATE: The settlement has been announced and there’s bad news and good news. The criminal fine — while on one hand it is indeed the largest in American history, at $4.5 billion — falls far short of making good on the damage BP did to the Gulf and is in fact less than the company typically earns in just one three-month quarter, according to its financial reports. The good news...

BP is trying to hide the real cause of the oil sheen in the Gulf — and we need answers


I’m not satisfied with the answers that we’re getting from BP and the federal government about the new oil slick at the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf that was first reported on this blog earlier this month. Neither are a lot of other folks. People are demanding evidence of where the fresh crude is coming from, because the storyline that BP is floating out there now — that a...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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