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BP’s Oil Spill: Criminal Negligence, Thousands Still Sick & A Gulf Graveyard Left Behind

‘After BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion to the government, and another $9.2 billion in penalties since its catastrophic oil spill, a new ruling has put the corporation under fire again.

A US District Judge has found BP grossly negligent and it’s subcontractors, Halliburton and TransOcean, negligent for their roles in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent dumping of more than 210 million gallons of toxic sludge into the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and countless marine creatures in the process. Under the Clean Water Act, the new ruling could effectively quadruple the penalty per barrel spilled that BP will have to pay.

BP’s criminal negligence shouldn’t come as a surprise. After nine years at sea, company management acknowledged that the Deepwater drilling rig was in decline and presented a quote “intolerable risk” to safety, yet chose to do nothing. Halliburton also plead guilty to the destruction of key evidence related to the company’s shady cost-cutting practices like failing to inspect the well’s cement mixture, and using only six of the recommended 21 centralizers to secure the site.

Besides the massive damage that’s been done to the environment as a result of the BP disaster, the health impact on humans continues – largely because of the decision by BP and the EPA to spray nearly two million gallons of a dispersant called Corexit onto the water, making the oil 52 times more toxic, according to the Environmental Pollution Journal.

All this aside, BP’s contracts with the Defense Department have more than doubled in the years since the disaster.

Even though the media is fatigued with its coverage of this disaster, Breaking the Set went down to the Louisiana Gulf Coast to see how the region is faring nearly five years later and to investigate the spill’s lasting damages. We learned that hundreds of thousands of people are still sick, and that the oil industry has turned the once vibrant shore into a graveyard.’

Read More by Abby Martin at Media Roots