February 12, 2011
April 2010 BP’s Deepwater Horizon well exploded, sending oil gushing for three months into the gulf. The explosion killed eleven crewmembers and is probably the greatest environmental disaster the United States has faced. Scientific estimates put the amount of oil that was being discharged from the broken well at above 1,470,000 U.S. gallons per day. On July 15, 2010 BP successfully stopped the flow of oil from the wellhead, after spilling 190 million gallons of oil into the gulf over a period of three months. BP’s initial response to the spill was to deny responsibility. Tony Hayward, CEO, tried to shift the blame of the accident to Transocean. Transocean owned the rig BP was the Lessee. Weeks later, when BP gave the details of it’s own investigation into the accident they admitted some liability. Ethically, the damage is done. Eleven deaths and over one million gallons of oil spilling per day and BP tried to duck responsibility. This lack in corporate social responsibility impacted the stakeholders, and had a huge negative impact on BP. BP has a long history of legal and ethical violations. Over the past twenty years, BP subsidiaries have been convicted three times of environmental crimes in Alaska and Texas including two felonies. The company is still on probation for two of them. The company also received the largest fine ever for willful work safety violations in United States history. This shows BP’s lack of legal responsibility.
While BP has said it accepts responsibility for the spill, it denies that it is guilty of safety and environmental failures. The BP spill has had a direct effect on the states that border the gulf. Louisiana, the nearest state to the well, has been the most impacted. More than one hundred miles of their four hundred mile coast has been polluted. This has affected wetlands, marine life, bird nurseries, and the wildlife refuge. One billion dollars of the Gross Domestic...
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