"The oil company could be prosecuted by shareholders for paying billions upon billions into a fund for damages without being legally required to do so . It's therefore a good thing that the US government has not asked for a blank check to cover damages. With the high sum (of $20 billion), the government can now offer quick and unbureaucratic First Aid (to people living near the Gulf)."
"But the firm can't just run free now that an arbitrary sum has been set. What the final cost for damages might be, and which mistakes were made by whom, have yet to be determined. Civil and criminal complaints against BP have to remain an open possibility. This fund is just a first step toward stopping the holes that the oil catastrophe has ripped in the finances of many affected people."Smells like a cover-up in progress:
A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP's controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts.
Mike Michael at Gather.com reports that Kemp's Ridleys are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Harming or killing one "carries stiff fines and civil penalties ($500-$25,000) assessed for each violation. Criminal penalties include possible prison time and fines from $25,000-$50,000."
Michael suggests that, given the size of the fines BP could face as a result of the turtle deaths, the company may be happy to let turtles burn, as it would make it impossible to calculate exactly how many turtles died. He notes that the bodies of dead animals are being kept as evidence to determine how much in fines BP will be liable for.
"Is BP destroying evidence to keep their liability down?" he asks. "Is anyone going to stop them?"A case of gross negligence?
Location of Deepwater Horizon oil rig was criticized
More than 12 months ago some geologists rang the warning bell that the Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig might have been erected directly over a huge underground reservoir of methane.
Documents from several years ago indicate that the subterranean geologic formation may contain the presence of a huge methane deposit.
None other than the engineer who helped lead the team to snuff the Gulf oil fires set by Saddam Hussein to slow the advance of American troops has stated that a huge underground lake of methane gas-compressed by a pressure of 100,000 pounds per square inch (psi)-could be released by BP's drilling effort to obtain the oil deposit.
Current engineering technology cannot contain gas that is pressurized to100,000 psi.
By some geologists' estimates the methane could be a massive 15 to 20 mile toxic and explosive bubble trapped for eons under the Gulf sea floor. In their opinion, the explosive destruction of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead was an accident just waiting to happen.After all the litigation is complete will BP survive ?
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