More Friends and Foes for BP in Contracting Fight

Thick oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill floats on the surface of the water and coats the marsh wetlands in Bay Jimmy near Port Sulphur, Louisiana, June 11, 2010. BP's liabilities sky-rocketed in tandem with estimates about the scale of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill Friday, as analysts pushed the possible price tag well above four billion dollars. Wall Street experts said the monetary cost of the disaster for BP would be tied to new estimates that put the amount of oil spilled at between one and two million barrels so far, double the previous estimate.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
Ben Geman
Dec. 4, 2013, 12:52 p.m.

The leg­al battle over BP’s sus­pen­sion from win­ning new fed­er­al con­tracts is get­ting big­ger and big­ger.

The ad­vocacy group Pub­lic Cit­izen will likely file an amicus brief in de­fense of the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency against BP’s law­suit to over­turn the sus­pen­sion im­posed in 2012.

Pub­lic Cit­izen’s Tyson Slo­cum re­vealed the plan two days after ma­jor busi­ness groups — in­clud­ing the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Amer­ic­an Pet­ro­leum In­sti­tute — filed a leg­al brief sup­port­ing BP’s chal­lenge.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing that the Cham­ber of Com­merce and API are de­fend­ing the rights of crim­in­al felons to se­cure gov­ern­ment con­tracts,” said Slo­cum, who dir­ects Pub­lic Cit­izen’s en­ergy pro­gram.

“I un­der­stand that Big Oil’s dues fund the budgets of the Cham­ber and API, but I wish these busi­ness groups would in­stead fight for the rights of law-abid­ing com­pan­ies, and not those that pled guilty to man­slaughter,” he ad­ded.

BP sued the EPA in fed­er­al court in Texas four months ago to over­turn the sus­pen­sion that was im­posed shortly after the com­pany reached a mult­i­bil­lion dol­lar crim­in­al plea deal over its 2010 oil spill.

BP is get­ting new sup­port too.

The Brit­ish gov­ern­ment weighed in with its own brief early this week on BP’s be­half.

“Her Majesty’s Gov­ern­ment is con­cerned that such a broad sanc­tion can and will have ser­i­ous and un­jus­ti­fied eco­nom­ic con­sequences,” the Dec. 2 brief states, not­ing BP’s role as an em­ploy­er, in­vestor, and tax­pay­er in the two na­tions.

The brief cri­ti­cized the de­cision to sus­pend not just BP Ex­plor­a­tion and Pro­duc­tion, which pleaded guilty to crim­in­al charges over the 2010 oil spill, but BP’s par­ent cor­por­a­tion and 20 oth­er busi­ness units.

The Brit­ish gov­ern­ment ar­gues that by im­pos­ing such a broad sanc­tion, the EPA “risks cre­at­ing a power­ful dis­in­cent­ive to co­oper­a­tion in times of crisis.”

The brief ar­gues that com­pan­ies “may think twice” be­fore agree­ing to ac­cept re­spons­ib­il­ity, per­form re­medi­al work, or reach a plea deal “if such ef­forts are not taken in­to ac­count when the time comes to mete out oth­er sanc­tions.”

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
1 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
1 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login