BP PLC has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), claiming the agency is abusing its discretion by continuing to bar the company from new government contracts. This is related to guilty pleas arising out of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In a filing August 12th in federal court in Houston, BP says it has lost out on billions of dollars in potential contracts, such as supplying fuel to the U.S. military, because the EPA refuses to lift the prohibition on new contracts. These were first put in place in November 2012. That was when BP said it would pay $4.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminal charges including obstruction of justice, involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act. That, combined with all of the other problems caused by BP, seems like enough reason to take the oil giant off the list for government contracts.
At the time, BP claimed it believed the suspension would be brief and that it was working with the EPA on an agreement that would effectively end the suspension. But according to the court filing, the EPA refused to lift the ban after the company entered its formal pleas and the criminal case was closed. BP is asking the court to find the EPA suspension to be illegal and to end it immediately. A BP spokesman, Geoff Morrell, said the EPA’s action is inappropriate, but that the company remains open to a reasonable settlement with the EPA. The ongoing battle between the federal government and BP continues in Federal District Court in New Orleans over civil liability under the Clean Water Act.
Sources: WSJ.com and Houston Chronicle
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.