How Is BP Trial Remaining Low-Profile?

 There was a time when the eventual BP trial over its Deepwater Horizon oil spill would have been the stuff of 24/7 coverage, sort of an environmental Trial of the Century. That was then, and this is now. And now the BP case is launching with attention pretty much limited to the business pages – but it’s still an early favorite for environmental trial of the century.

Bloomberg’s Businessweek has a good “things to know” piece on the case, including the reminder that “… U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier blamed the company’s “gross negligence” for the eruption that killed 11 rig workers and spewed more than three million barrels of crude along the Gulf coast, from Louisiana to Florida. Now Barbier, acting without a jury, will apply a series of eight factors identified by the act to determine the pecuniary penalty. The potential price tag could range from several billion to nearly $14 billion.”

That federal case is in addition to other lawsuits, including some private actions. There’s no real timeline for all the legal issues, but this specific federal case is expected to wrap up this year. One of the more interesting arguments: BP should pay less because the price of oil has tanked of late. For the Bloomberg take see the following link, Five Things to Know About the Latest BP Gulf Oil Spill Trial, and for a highly partisan (but insightful) take, see the Stuart H. Smith blog (link follows.)

From Stuart H. Smith: BP Oil Spill