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United States of America V. Bp Exploration and Production, Inc.

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. BP EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION, INC.

Iris Y. Salas, Wanda Lawson, Dawn Foster, Tania Malveaux, Sonya Harriest

LAW-531

April 16, 2015

University of Phoenix

Professor Shanell Tucker  


Case (Tania Malveaux)

The United States of America filed criminal and civil law suits against BP Exploration and Production, Inc. for the Deepwater Horizon explosion and for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

 Issue (Dawn Foster)

             Is BP responsible for 11 fatalities and the oil spill of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico?  Is BP responsible for withholding information from the government regarding the spill?

Rule (Tania Malveaux)

According to the Clean Water Act the release of contaminants into the United States waters (lakes, rivers, streams, coastal areas, and wetlands) is controlled.  

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act deems it unlawful to kill migratory birds.  The treaty was enacted for the protection of migratory birds between the U.S. and Great Britain who was then acting on behalf of Canada.

The Obstruction of Congress/Justice is a governed criminal statute that guards the integrity of federal legal events as well as bureau and congressional proceedings.  Section 1503 is used for reprimanding those who impede federal judicial proceedings.  

Analysis (Wanda Lawson)        

In 2010, 4.9 million barrels of oil was release into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 workers by the BP oil spill (United Stated Department of Justice, 2013).  The oil spill created severe amount of damage to neighboring regions both economically and ecological.  The rig owned by an offshore drilling contractor name Transocean, which BP was leasing for study of the Macondo Prospect.  Due to widespread damage to the wellhead and the intensity of the damage occurred, BP was not able to correct or stop the flow of oil for numerous months.  An estimate of the barrels released was over 200 million gallons.  The United States sued BP for liability and requested that they pay economic impact and cleanup cost to the states of Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama. The main stakeholders were the ocean fisherman, wildlife, tourist communities and business, the environment, and the oil industry.  

BP pleaded guilty in January 2013, to 11 counts of felony manslaughter, violations of the Migratory Bird and the Clear Water Treaty Acts, and 1 count of felony obstruction of Congress (United Stated Department of Justice, 2013).  BP’s sentence was to pay $4 billion in penalties and fines.  Of the $4 billion, $500 million in penalties and fine went to response efforts through research and improvement of oil spill prevention, training, education and 37 developments (United Stated Department of Justice, 2013).

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