June 10, 2010 The US federal government is conducting a criminal investigation against British Petroleum, the notorious big oil company known for cutting corners on maintenance and safety to save money and make more profits.
After a major oil spill gurgling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico’s precious fishing grounds along five US southern states, it is assured that requires an investigation into what procedures it used to conduct safety and maintenance on the oil drill, thousands of feed beneath the surface.
After repeated attempts by the US government for two months to obtain information about the volume of oil spilling daily into the gulf and the actions of BP oil to hide and delay video coverage of the site it comes as no surprise to the world.
Admiral Allan the head of the US Coast Guard has fired off many letters to BP CEO’s and officials to demand more transparency in their releasing information, video tapes, live camera feeds, documents, and more importantly payments to the fishing, tourist, and businesses that have lost years of income due to their negligence.
The US media has been hounding BP oil for more video coverage as there are approximately 11 cameras on the well head which have never been released to the public. The very act of hiding, delaying and obstruction of valuable evidence are crimes also but BP has arrogantly ignored the US government’s requests.
In the Washington hearings it was discovered that there was an argument between BP Oil executives and Deepwater Horizon on the drilling rig that fateful day. Both parties argued for hours until finally a BP official unnamed at this point but it was probably Tony Hayward who had the power to make the ultimate decision had ordered the heavy drilling fluid be withdrawn and removed.
This person who gave the order to remove the drilling fluid and replace it with the seawater made the culpable, fatal and criminal decision that caused the explosion.
The light weight sea water was not heavy enough to stop the gas from blowing to the surface which exploded all the way up to the Deep Horizon rig. This would cause the pressure to be totally relying on the blowout preventer which also failed to work because the pinchers which are shear rams in the blow out prevent failed to stop the explosion also.
The “power and authority” disagreement between the two parties with BP Oil being the main party of the leased rig and being the initiator of this particular rig and drill well had the most responsibility to drill safely and according to best practices. They did not use common practices and in fact used a dangerous practice of replacing the drill mud with sea water which illustrates BP Oil’s criminal acts.
This is not only clear evidence of their culpability in the BP Oil leak – which now bears their name – it is a criminal act to violate US laws and regulations clearly, wilfully and without concern for the outcome.
BP Oil had five hours of certain warning signs which they ignored as the situation worsened their decisions wrong as they were caused the explosion to happen on April 20, 2010. More details to follow in the BP Oil criminal investigation will get at the truth about BP’s responsibility which set of a series of explosions on the rig. It is unclear as to the macho image of some of these BP oil executives or their greed for power and authority, or perhaps their arrogance in pushing their weight around in the Gulf off of a foreign country.
Why did BP Oil ignore these warnings and proceed to drill under these conditions?
Several reasons may offer some explanation and one is to hurry up the drill and get the oil at any cost. Secondly they asserted their authority over Horizon authorities in a macho cavalier way of showing who is boss. Thirdly they refused to use common drill practices used in Europe and knew that the US had more lenient and fewer restrictions they took a seriously flawed gamble on the safety of the US coastline.
BP operated the Deepwater Horizon rig without concern for their own actions and the repercussion of such a series of negligent decision. BP criminally ignored their responsibilities and sense of duty to common safety regulations that are well known worldwide as precautionary systems that must be in place to prevent this disaster.
You hear Tony Hayward and other top BP executives say one lie upon another to cover up their mistakes in judgment. One such statement is: ” this has never happened before” or ” this is a new problem that has never occurred in this magnitude in history“. These statements are hollow and void of their clear responsibility and do not accept blame for their own misguided decisions on that rig on April 20, 2010.
This spill will go down in history as one of the worst corporate disasters caused by the lack of adherence to regulations, the ignorance of safety in offshore drilling and the corrupt political system of the United States which allows influence peddling at the highest level which is the US government.
The millions of dollars well into the billions of dollars of loss of income, loss of a food source for the United States, Mexico, Cuba and other South American countries will bankrupt BP Oil. The need for seizure of assets must be a serious consideration in this violent act of reckless endangerment that some consider a serious terrorist act against the United States.
The Gulf oil rig explosion did not have to happen, it could have been avoided with the proper decisions to drill safetly and without consequences. BP Oil willfully ignored and made every effort to escape their wrongful destruction of a Gulf and have made little effort to ” make it right” and pay all legitimate claims.
TAGS: BP Criminal investigation, BP Oil under criminal investigation, BP Oil culpability in Gulf Oil disaster, Day 51-BP Oil criminal investigation, US government investigates BP Oil for criminal activity, Gulf Oil Rig explosion, make it right, pay all legitimate claims.
Past Litigation Against Exxon Valdez and BP Oil from Federal Judges on Punitive Damage Reduction
Federal Judges Reducing Punitive Damages For Oil Corporations Must Stop
In other news as reported in the Houston Chronicle a Federal judge in Houston reduced a 100 million dollar verdict against BP Oil for negligence on a chemical release in Texas City that was a factor in sending 100 men to the hospital. The Federal Judge in this case was US District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt who ruled the employees were not entitled to ANY punitive damages in this case.
A California appellate specialist Donna Bader wrote about the decison to eliminate punitive damages against BP Oil in the Texas explosion:
“Some will celebrate this reduction as a victory for companies. Those who do so may believe that individual plaintiffs should not be entitled to punitive damages at all or that the award just seems like a lot of money. Others will despair, as this case is just one of many where judges have reduced
punitive damages – ignoring the jury’s verdict – until they do nothing to punish wrongdoers. As stated by plaintiff’s attorney, the decision gives BP a “free pass” to continue hurting its workers.”
You can read more on her blog about the detrimental effect that Judge Hoyt’s decision to not punish BP Oil then, has caused the BP Gulf Oil spill and gave BP a free pass against all legal good judgment he was seriously wrong in his decision.
The judge set aside the 100 million dollar punitive damages from the 2007 incident and a 2005 explosion case only slapped a 50 million dollar fine for violating the Clean Air Act which is a felony offence.
Clearly we have a history of violations by BP Oil and their army of lawyers have successfully appealed juried decisions for punitive damages to be awarded. Had the judge in this case Judge Kenneth Hoyt done his duty and allowed the punitive damages awarded by the jury the BP Gulf Oil leak would never have happened as BP would have learned an expensive lesson. However BP got 100 million dollars richer to carry on as always in a derelict and dangerous manner in their oil production business.
Federal judges here are wrongfully reducing damage awards against large corporations and offering to reduce the awards that juries have assessed.
In Anchorage Alaska a US Distric Judge Russel Holland reduced Exxon’s 5 billion dollar punitive damages in 1994. The award was again reduced to 1 billion dollars later after Exxon dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil from the Exxon Valdez.
The Law firm White & Case have a California Litigation Report and the practice of federal judges reducing juried awards is a practice that in today’s dollar values does not punish these oil companies in reality it allows for more reckless drilling practices.