Running Head: BP GULF OIL SPILL
The Legal Issues and Ethical Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010
Terry D. Bollman
BP Gulf Oil Spill 2
British Petroleum’s Roll in the Gulf Oil Spill
This paper will explain some of the effects of three legal issues and three ethical issues surrounding the London-based British Petroleum Company’s involvement in the explosion of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon and the subsequent oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. There are many legal issues surrounding this disaster, but the three this paper will focus on are the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, maritime laws, and criminal charges that may be brought against BP executives. The ethical issues explored will be who is responsible for deaths due to the Deepwater Horizon explosion, who is responsible for the oil cleanup, and who is required to compensate the people whose livelihood has been put in jeopardy.
BP Gulf Oil Spill 3 The Legal Issues and Ethical Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was signed into law in August that year. It came about mostly because of the public response and concerns after the Exxon Valdez incident in which an oil tanker heading to port in Long Beach, CA ran aground in Prince Williams Sound, AK spilling up to an estimated 750,000 barrels of crude oil. Although ranking well down the list on the world’s largest oil spills for quantity dumped, the remote location of the spill made response and recovery extremely difficult. One of the key provisions of the OPA - §1002(a) Provides that the responsible party for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses a substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for: (1) certain specified damages resulting from the discharged oil; and (2) removal costs incurred in a
References: Tankersley, J. (2010, June 17). How BP compensation fund will work. Los Angeles Times Restuccia, A Kunzelman, M, & Burke, G. (2010, May 17). Deepwater horizon inspections: mms skipped monthly inspections on doomed rig Cooper, H, & Baker, P. (2010, June 2). U.S. opens criminal inquiry into oil spill. The New York Times, p Vance, G. (2010, August 11). U.S. maritime laws hamper oil spill settlements. The Washington Post Oil pollution act overview. (2009, March 17). Retrieved from http:.//www.epa.gov/oem/content/lawsregs/opaover.htm Mallor, JP, Barnes, AJ, Bowers T & Langvardt, AW. (2010). Business law: the ethical, global, and ecommerce environment