Originally posted on Jet Van Lines:
Two years after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, British Petroleum has pled guilty to felony charges. The EPA announced as well that further contracts would be indefinitely suspended with the company due to the nature of the charges. This has very serious monetary implications for BP. It will also open competition for US military contracts that BP normally has control over; basically it is really good news for Exxon and Chevron. Two individuals that worked on the rig have also been arraigned, along with one former Gulf executive. All still plead not guilty to charges that include negligence of warning signs, concealing information, and manslaughter. The trial has not yet taken place. There is no word on a trial for the company at this point, just the individuals that worked on the rig. While this event caught the eye of the media with as a huge attraction, it is not the only incident involving the big name company.
This event comes only five years after the explosion in Texas City, Texas. The refinery that was operated by BP suffered a serious malfunction that killed 15 people and injured roughly 170 more. Of the investigations that were conducted into that particular case safety and negligence were top issues. Also discussed during the investigation was that budget cuts potentially caused equipment and alarms to lapse for repair or maintenance. A class action suit against British Petroleum was settled for $50 million and felony charges upheld for negligence. Both situations are tragic and many lives have been lost. The economic loss is also great. However, the question still lingers about the safety concerns regarding the company operations. Severe safety issues surrounded the Texas refinery explosion that led to the settlement. This has obviously prompted the EPA to suspend any further contract operations indefinitely. But what does a suspension like this mean for such a large company? If suspended permanently it will no doubt cause them to lose billions and possibly cripple their financial outlook.
Photo credit: Deepwater Horizon Response / Foter / CC BY-ND