Gulf Restoration Network

United for a Healthy Gulf

Aaron Viles
Big News from the Deepwater Drilling Disaster
Blog -
Friday, 04 January 2013 16:23

The Source - BP drilling disaster site. Photo (cc) Gulf Restoration NetworkIn big news for the Gulf, the Department of Justice announced a plea agreement with Transocean, the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, for their role in the 2010 BP drilling disaster.  It's a doozy, with the company pleading guilty to criminal environmental behavior, and agreeing to pay $1.4 billion in fines, penalties and restitution.

I hope this agreement signals a New Years resolution by the Department of Justice to hold every player accountable for the deepwater drilling disaster that is still affecting our coast and communities.  

While the figures announced yesterday are impressive, they remain an oily drop in the bucket compared to BP's civil liability of $20b.  We are glad to see significant funds directed to environmental restoration of the Gulf, both via the RESTORE Act for civil penalties, and through specific agreements by both parties for the criminal penalties.

GRN has been disappointed, both in this agreement, and in the BP criminal agreement, that money has not been specifically allocated to increase oil industry transparency and community accountability through the creation of a Gulf Regional Citizens Advisory Council, similar to the Prince William Sound RCAC created in Alaska after the Exxon Valdez spill.  It's far past time to create such an entity, as our region continues to play the role of energy sacrifice zone for the country, paying costs incurred by the actions of BP, Transocean, and lesser-known oil industry lawbreakers.

Aaron Viles is GRN's Deputy Director. You can follow him on twitter @GulfAaron.


BP's Oil Drilling Disaster - Take Action

Recent Posts

This Sunday, April 20th, marks four years since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the
Written by Steve Murchie
Friday, 18 April 2014
GRN's Steve Murchie speaking to media.Citizens and representatives of GRN and other organizations
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Black skimmers flying along the beach on Mississippi's Ship Island.Today, the National Fish and
Written by Jordan Macha
Tuesday, 08 April 2014
This is a call for immediate action. Please read below, view the photos, share with your networks,
Written by Jonathan Henderson
Monday, 07 April 2014
Okatibbee Lake is fed by streams receiving water from several permitted discharges from Kemper The
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Tuesday, 01 April 2014
A cleanup worker gathers oil on the shore of the Texas City Dike, March 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Last July, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed a lawsuit demanding that
Written by Steve Murchie
Wednesday, 26 March 2014