Environmental group says BP penalty isn't enough
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Lawyers for two BP oil rig workers say the Justice Department is trying to make scapegoats out of them.
The two were indicted today on federal charges including manslaughter, in the deaths of 11 workers in the rig explosion that led to the Gulf oil spill two and a half years ago.
Another man, a BP official, is charged with obstruction of Congress, for allegedly withholding information on how much oil was spewing from the blown-out well.
BP, meanwhile, has agreed to pay a record $4.5 billion in a settlement with the government. It includes nearly $1.3 billion in fines, the biggest criminal penalty in U.S. history. And Attorney General Eric Holder says much of the money will be used to restore the Gulf.
The settlement may not make much of a dent on the company's finances. BP made a record $25.8 billion in profits last year. And it will be given five years to pay.
The environmental group Greenpeace is criticizing the settlement as a slap on the wrist.
But the company still faces huge additional claims -- including billions of dollars in civil penalties the government is seeking under the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. And a judge in New Orleans is considering a separate proposed settlement of $7.8 billion between BP and more than 100,000 businesses and individuals who say they were harmed by the spill.
AG Holder: Investigation of BP spill to continue
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the BP settlement is the just the latest step in ongoing efforts to seek justice for the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill.
Holder said at a news conference that the settlement announced Thursday isn't the end of federal authorities' efforts and that the criminal investigation is continuing.
BP PLC has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government over the disaster. Holder says much of that money will be used to restore the environment in the Gulf.
BP also said it would plead guilty to criminal charges related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress. Three men who worked for BP have also been charged in indictments unsealed Thursday.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the deal, also said two BP employees face manslaughter charges over the death of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the massive spill.
The person said BP will plead guilty to obstruction for lying to Congress about how much oil was pouring out of the ruptured well.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Two BP employees have been indicted on manslaughter charges in the 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster.
The federal indictment unsealed Thursday in New Orleans names BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine. The indictment claims they acted negligently in their supervision of key safety tests performed on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig before an explosion killed 11 workers in April 2010.
The indictment says Kaluza and Vidrine failed to phone engineers onshore to alert them of problems in the drilling operation.
The charges come on the same day that BP announced that it has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government to plead guilty to felony counts related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress.
BP executive charged with lying to authorities
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A BP executive has been indicted on charges that he lied to authorities about his work estimating the rate oil was flowing during the 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster.
A federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges David Rainey, who was BP's vice president of exploration for the Gulf of Mexico, on charges of obstruction of Congress and false statements.
The indictment claims that Rainey lied to federal investigators when they asked him how he calculated a flow rate estimate for BP's blown-out well in the days after the April 2010 disaster.
Indictments charging two BP well site leaders with manslaughter were also unsealed Thursday.
Earlier, BP announced that it has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government and to plead guilty to felony counts related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress.