Hold BP Accountable During Settlement Negotiations

WASHINGTON, February 11, 2013 - “Americans from all walks of life reeled in horror as BP’s negligence sent more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Aileo Weinmann, associate communications director for the National Wildlife Federation. “We’re sending a signal to staff at the Department of Justice to hold BP fully accountable for up to $50 billion in civil fines and penalties.”

The Department of Justice is currently in settlement negotiations over the civil portion of the federal government’s case against BP. Penalties of up to $21 billion against BP are possible under the Clean Water Act alone. Furthermore, if BP paid the same per-gallon fines as Exxon did for the Valdez spill, its liability under the Oil Pollution Act would be in the range of $30 billion.

Additionally, the oil giant owes smaller—but still significant fines—for its violations of federal environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The trial is scheduled to start in late February.

Most of the money from these civil fines and penalties will be used to restore the Gulf of Mexico.


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