Last week, staff from Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society and Earthworks hand delivered 133,501 petitions to the U.S. Department of Justice, urging them to hold BP accountable to the fullest extent of the law for the 2010 gulf oil disaster.
This week, the Department of Justice reduced the “fullest extent of the law” by lowering the maximum potential fine under the Clean Water Act by $3.4 billion, just one week ahead of their scheduled trial.
After the death of 11 men, nearly five million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf and three years of waiting, the question around BP’s accountability is about to come to a close.
With a February 25 trial date looming, BP is preparing for the first of two non-jury trials, this one determining their liability. Even though the maximum fine has been reduced from $21 billion to about $17.6 billion, BP must be held accountable for one of our nation’s largest environmental disasters.
An overwhelming majority of the voting public believes BP’s fines should go toward gulf restoration. Thanks to last year’s bipartisan RESTORE Act, this money will go back to the Gulf Coast states to use for environmental and economic restoration. But while the RESTORE Act is the mechanism, actual restoration cannot begin until BP pays.
Check out the Facebook photo album of our petition drop from our partners, Restore the Mississippi River Delta.