HUGH KAUFMAN [email]
A noted expert and whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency, Kaufman said today: “BP lied about how much oil was being released because under the Clean Water Act they were liable for a penalty of up to a $4,000 per barrel released. Thus, the lies could save them tens of billions of dollars. That’s also why they used toxic dispersants to atomize the oil, and thus hide the oil below the surface.
“The government was in a pickle because high government officials were also involved in downplaying and hiding the amount of oil pouring out of the ruptured well. People in the government put out false information after the BP disaster as well and that constrains what the government can do to BP now. This reflects an even deeper problem — a massive pro-industry bias in the government.” Kaufman is featured in the documentary “The Big Fix.” See excerpt.
TYSON SLOCUM [email]
Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, Slocum said today: “The point of the criminal justice system is twofold: to punish and to deter. This does neither. It is a weak-tea punishment that provides zero deterrence to BP or other companies. Consider that after the 2005 Texas refinery explosion that killed 15 people, BP pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and paid a fine. Now, after a 2010 event that killed 11 people, BP is again pleading guilty and paying a fine. Zero deterrence.” See full statement.