Published on Friday, January 4, 2013 by Common Dreams
Those responsible for ‘largest environmental disaster in American history’ continue to roam free in Gulf of Mexico
- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
Transocean Deepwater Inc. was handed a free pass by the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday, pleading
guilty to violations of the Clean Water Act in exchange for a
relatively nominal fine and no further criminal penalties for the 2010
oil spill that polluted the Gulf of Mexico with 200 million gallons of
oil over a three month period, causing untold damage.
An oil-covered brown pelican sits in a pool of oil along Queen Bess
Island Pelican Rookery, about 3 miles northeast of Grand Isle, La., June
2010 (Sean Gardner/Reuters/File) Transocean, owner of the
drilling rig that exploded, will now pay a total of $1.4 billion in
civil and criminal fines and penalties—an amount Sierra Club called
“wholly inadequate” in relation to the massive amounts of environmental
degradation and the loss of human lives resulting from the massive
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement in response:
Just a month ago the Sierra Club called on the ObamaAfter the deal, Transocean’s immediately began profiting once again. According to Bloomberg,
Administration to hold BP and their contractors fully accountable for
the largest environmental disaster in American history. The settlement
announced yesterday, like the $4 billion settlement of BP’s criminal
charges last month, is wholly inadequate to the damage these companies
caused – the loss of human life and the disruption of the entire Gulf
ecosystem and economy. With these weak settlements, Gulf communities,
families and businesses are being sold out to Big Oil for pennies on the
dollar. BP and their contractors must pay the real cost of this
disaster, no less than $60 billion, and be held accountable for their
careless and illegal operations that created this disaster.
“Transocean shares (RIG) surged the most in 28 months after the
settlement was announced yesterday and yields on company debt fell,
signaling rising investor demand…now that most of the uncertainty about
potential liabilities for the Macondo [well] accident has been
Three years after the disaster, Transocean still operates widely in
the Gulf of Mexico. Fourteen of the 39 rigs actively drilling in Gulf
water depths of at least 1,000 feet (305 meters) are owned by
Transocean, more than any other operator, according to Dice Holdings
Inc.’s Rigzone, which tracks global offshore rig data.
Thursday’s settlement resolves the DoJ’s civil and criminal prosecution of Transocean.
Transocean still faces a settlement with the Macondo plaintiffs
steering committee, which represents more than 100,000 individuals and
business owners claiming economic and medical damages from the spill,
but could take years to settle.
Transocean Gets Off Easy With ‘Wholly Inadequate’ Gulf Settlement | Common Dreams.
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