BP Oil: First criminal charges filed

Louisiana brown pelican mired in BP oil

Louisiana brown pelican mired in BP oil (Charlie Riedel, AP)

The story hasn’t garnered a lot of headlines, but the first criminal charges have finally been filed in the case of the BP oil spill two years ago. According to a federal affidavit and as reported by the Huffington Post, Kurt Mix, 50, a senior BP drilling engineer, allegedly destroyed hundreds of text messages sent to a supervisor that described high volumes of oil flowing from the ruptured well. Mix reported amounts far in excess of what BP was stating publicly, and for destroying those messages and obstructing justice he faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.

As HuffPo notes, the BP story is far from over:

The charges come just days after BP finalized a $7.8 billion settlement with over 100,000 businesses and individuals harmed by the spill.

But still looming for the company is a massive civil trial that pits BP and its corporate partners on the doomed Deepwater Horizon rig against the federal government and a half-dozen Gulf states.

Federal and state claims could yield penalties and fines totaling as much as $60 billion, legal experts said.

Stay tuned. Justice may yet prevail, but don’t bet on it.

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For all related PT posts, see “BP oil spill.”



Categories: BP oil spill, Green, Law

10 replies

  1. This is a big story here – for a couple of days, so it must be the region – out coast and fishing industry were adversely affected.
    The feeling and analysis here is that this guy is just a pawn and scapegoat. This one little guy the best they can do? Seriously? Joke.

    • I can see this grinding on forever, with only a few little guys like Mix being picked off. The executives will never be held accountable for the corporate mentality that led to this disaster; they never are.

  2. Now it seems to me that, if they can prove their case against this guy, that victory should then be good evidence that his supervisor failed to take action. And then, if they can get that guy to roll, the falling dominoes might just lead to a victory that actually counts. Yeah, I know… I’m not betting on it either!

  3. Not it hasn’t rec’d much news coverage. I saw it come across the CNN wordpress blog thingy I subscribed to and haven’t heard anything on TV about it. I’m glad, though. I want to cry every time I see that poor pelican above.

  4. The New York Times also ran a lengthy story on this yesterday.

  5. Fingers crossed for victory. That photograph is just heart rending.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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