Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just A Trickle, Honest

Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

"NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - Just how many barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon spill is a billion dollar question with implications that go beyond the environment. It could also help determine how much BP and others end up paying for the disaster.
A clause buried deep in the U.S. Clean Water Act may expose BP and others to civil fines that aren't limited to any finite cap -- unlike a $75 million limit on compensation for economic damages. The Act allows the government to seek civil penalties in court for every drop of oil that spills into U.S. navigable waters, including the area of BP's leaking well.
As a result, the U.S. government could seek to fine BP or others up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the U.S. Gulf, according to legal experts and official documents.
So far, analysts and experts calculating potential oil spill liabilities have mostly concentrated on the cost of the clean-up and compensation for economic damages to affected parties. Some have also discussed criminal liabilities.
But the potential for civil fines has received scant attention -- and they could add up very quickly, depending on how agressive the U.S. government is in pursuing them.
The threat of hefty fines underscores the importance of quantifying how much oil is pouring into the Gulf. As BP seeks to staunch the leak that has now been gushing for at least 33 days, it has estimated a spill rate of 5,000 barrels per day. But some experts say the volume -- and hence the fines -- could be more than 10 times higher."

Actually the estimates range far more than even that, especially after what seems to be a serious deterioration of the seabed.
Reuters has since disappeared the original story, and BP has severed the spillcam feed.


Anonymous nick z said...

The threat of hefty fines underscores the importance of quantifying how much oil is pouring into the Gulf.

The real reason why they are using the dispersant?

26/5/10 5:43 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Precisely nick. Every action taken by all parties involved is to cover their assets.

27/5/10 4:44 PM  

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