It can now be reported that BP executives, in an attempt to save themselves, tried to concentrate blame for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster on “blue collar rig workers.” Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department are claiming gross negligence on BP’s part in causing the oil spill. A brief filed by the Justice Department on August 31st contains this claim. Justice Department lawyers had blacked out two sentences before they filed the brief in federal court in New Orleans. They cited a confidentiality claim by BP as the reason for the redaction. But Judge Carl Barbier last month ordered the full document released, saying BP had withdrawn its confidentiality claim. The sentences appear in a section of the brief in which Justice Department lawyers attack BP’s internal investigation of the oil spill. Government lawyers charge that the internal inquiry, run by BP executive Mark Bly, ignored embarrassing and damaging emails from drilling supervisors that preceded the explosion on the oil rig. The brief said:
Bly and BP’s management in London purposefully limited the investigation by excluding any of the systemic management failures that led to the disaster: This was a decision designed to ensure that the public and legal lines of accountability would be focused exclusively on blue collar rig workers and other contractor/defendants – but at all cost, not upon BP management and the inexplicable behaviors that coursed through the pages of the internal BP emails.
The executives at BP who tried to shift the blame from themselves over to blue collar workers on the rig should be ashamed. That sort of conduct is inexcusable. BP was clearly guilty of gross negligence and should be punished for what it did.
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