The Environmental Protection Agency is ending BP’s suspension from receiving new federal contracts that was imposed after the oil giant agreed to guilty pleas over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and spill.
But there are a few strings attached to removal of the sanction imposed in late 2012. According to EPA’s announcement Thursday, the five-year agreement has specific provisions on BP’s “ethics compliance, corporate governance, and process safety.”
“This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we’ve outlined together,” EPA Assistant Administrator of Administration and Resources Craig Hooks said in a statement Thursday.
According to EPA, the deal requires BP to retain an EPA-approved auditor who will conduct an annual review and report on BP’s compliance.
BP, a major fuel supplier to the Defense Department, has been battling the suspension in court while it negotiated with EPA. The company is dropping the lawsuit.
BP noted Thursday that the agreement will enable the company to again enter into new deepwater drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 workers and touched off a months-long spill that eventually dumped more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
The agreement to lift the suspension drew quick criticism from the watchdog group Public Citizen. The group noted that the Gulf disaster followed a 2006 pipeline spill in Alaska, and the 2005 explosion at a BP refinery in Texas that killed 15 workers.
“BP has not addressed the cultural problems that led to the ban in the first place,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program.
“We treat corporate criminals far more leniently than we do human criminals, and that is a sad state of affairs,” said Slocum, who also expressed doubt that the independent monitor will effectively police BP.
But John Mingé, chairman and president of BP America, called the agreement “fair and reasonable.”
“Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases,” he said in a statement.
What We're Following See More »
"The United States is finally about to get an ambassador to Mexico. Senate Republicans who have been negotiating a way to confirm Roberta Jacobson as the nation’s top diplomat to Mexico have reached the contours of an agreement that would allow Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)—Jacobson’s chief obstacle—to secure renewed sanctions against Venezuela in exchange for lifting his objections."
Ten million dollars, plus another $1.5 million for the broker who will "develop and obtain" the policy. The concern: mass protests could lead to mass arrests, which could then lead to civil rights claims against the city.
There are not "ongoing, direct conversations between" the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp regarding "the platform or rules changes," but Sanders "is already making his opening arguments" about those issues on the stump. Sanders is putting "complaints about closed primaries" atop his stump speeches lately, and figures to start a "conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nominating process." He said, “Our goal, whether we win or we do not win, is to transform the Democratic Party."
Well, this is unsubtle. Former Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "lucifer in the flesh," adding that he "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner has endorsed John Kasich, but he said he'd vote for Donald Trump over Cruz. He also praised Bernie Sanders, calling him the most honest politician in the race, and predicted that Joe Biden may yet have a role to play in the Democratic contest, especially if Hillary Clinton runs into legal trouble over her emails.