BP Should Not be Allowed to Lobby or Litigate Their Way Out of Responsibility For The Gulf Oil Spill

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Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer

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BP is the largest oil and gas producer in the United States with over 22,000 oil and gas wells many on federal land) across the United States. BP profits for the first quarter of 2010 alone were $5.59 billion dollars. Since 2005 profits have totaled approximately $105 Billion according to their own annual reports. In the past three years BP has managed to receive 97% percent of all flagrant violations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It appears clear that BP has displayed a blatant disregard for regulations involving safety, maintenance, and operational procedures and this disregard extended to the rig Deepwater Horizon. BP’s attitude of non-compliance towards regulation seems motivated by profit maximization and the company has not appeared overly concerned with consequences. BP spends tens of millions of dollars on lobbying ($16 million spent last year alone) over the past 5 years, much of which was concentrated against regulation. It appears BP will once again rely on lobbying to influence key legislators to reduce long term penalties and to fight violations and lawsuits in court much like Exxon did with the Exxon Valdez spill. There are options that the U.S. can initiate that will ensure BP compliance - tonight we discuss those options.

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