BP Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter, Other Charges, For Gulf Oil Disaster

BP has plead guilty to manslaughter and other charges in the Justice Department’s criminal probe into the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

A federal judge has accepted the plea, allowing the London-based oil company to accept manslaughter charges for the deaths of 11 oil workers aboard the rig when it exploded.

BP will pay a record $4 billion in penalties in the deal, reports The Washington Post. The plea deal doesn’t resolve the federal government’s civil claims against the company. BP could still be facing billions more in fines for more environmental damage caused by the spill.

The company already has a bill for over $24 billion related to spill expenses and estimates it will have to pay $42 billion to finish off its liability for the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP plead guilty to 11 felony counts related to the oil workers’ deaths, a felony charge for obstruction of Congress, and two misdemeanors, notes The Chicago Tribune.

Along with the $4 billion in fines, the company also faces five years of probation. Finally, they will have two monitors oversee the company’s safety and ethics for the next four years.

BP has been subject to political, financial, and legal fallout stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Luther Strange, Alabama’s attorney general, has stated that the guilty plea by BP is a welcome step for getting more federal money to restore the Gulf coast.

He added, however, that he still plans to press ahead with Alabama’s own claims in court for economic and resource damages. Strange stated, “I look forward to presenting Alabama’s case that BP was grossly negligent when we have our day in court next month.”

Transocean, who owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, also agreed to pay $1.4 billion this month to settle charges from the US government for the disaster.

Are you glad that BP plead guilty to manslaughter charges? Is their consequence enough?

[Image via US Coast Guard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]