Criminal charges likely in Gulf oil spill

“Just a matter of time,” legal experts say


Federal investigators are likely to file criminal charges against at least one of the companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico spill, environmental law experts say, a fact that raises the prospects of significantly higher penalties than a current $75 million cap on civil liability. Though the government investigation is in its early stages, it’s “just a matter of time until the Justice Department steps in—if it hasn’t already—to initiate a criminal inquiry and take punitive action, Washington-based website McClatchyDC reports. David M. Uhlmann, who headed the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section during the Clinton and Bush administrations believes criminal charges will be brought. “There is no question there’ll be an enforcement action,” he says. That would have broad legal implications for BP and the two other companies involved. The White House is asking Congress to lift the current $75 million cap on liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, but there’s no cap on criminal penalties. In fact, prosecutors in such cases can seek twice the cost of environmental and economic damages resulting from the spill.


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Criminal charges likely in Gulf oil spill

  1. The feds are in the back pocket of big oil, there is no way that anyone will fully be brought to justice. For this reason, I hope that the Gulf gets so ridiculously polluted with oil that it serves as a wake up call for dormant Americans that just plain don't care. If the feds won't do it, some hitman will.

  2. All this does is illustrate one irrefutable point: HUMANS ARE CANCER OF THE EARTH. We do nothing to make the earth itself better; all 'environmentalists' do is try to minimize the damage. Think about it.

  3. Instead of finding new oil sources, we should use the stuff we got WAY more smartly. Slowly and sure find and using a better energy source and protecting our nature. If we stopped being stupid today, there is a chance my grandkids will be at the beach catching crabs and camping still. If not we will all suffer and die in the worst way.

  4. If they knew oil would dry up, in say 5 years, I'll bet you they would put their research into high gear and find an alternative, right now it's just go with the oil flow,there 's too much money to be made.Greed and power,I believe, is a negative human trait that some just can't control,even if it means destroying or diminishing the lives of their kids and grand kids. It's like a drug where you don't worry about tomorrow, you want your fix now.

  5. Can anyone actually believe anything will happen to those responsible for this disaster? With a $75 million cap on penalties, BP Haliburton CEO's are laughing at us. This mess will be with the world for generations. Don't forget the Exxon mess from twenty years ago: it's still affecting Alaska…

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