Ad: Hold BP Accountable During Settlement Negotiations

Metro Ad Pressures Department of Justice for Maximum Civil Fines

01-07-2013 // Aileo Weinmann

Today, the National Wildlife Federation unveiled an ad campaign on the Washington Metro subway system aimed at influencing the Department of Justice’s settlement negotiations with BP. The ads are located in the Navy Archives Metro station, close to the Department of Justice’s Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters.

“Americans from all walks of life reeled in horror as BP’s negligence sent more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Aileo Weinmann, associate communications director for the National Wildlife Federation. “We’re sending a signal to staff at the Department of Justice to hold BP fully accountable for up to $50 billion in civil fines and penalties.”

The Department of Justice is currently in settlement negotiations over the civil portion of the federal government’s case against BP. Penalties of up to $21 billion against BP are possible under the Clean Water Act alone. Furthermore, if BP paid the same per-gallon fines as Exxon did for the Valdez spill, its liability under the Oil Pollution Act would be in the range of $30 billion.

Additionally, the oil giant owes smaller—but still significant fines—for its violations of federal environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The trial is scheduled to start in late February.

Most of the money from these civil fines and penalties will be used to restore the Gulf of Mexico.

“These Metro ads are a cost-effective way to press Department of Justice staff about the proper size of any BP settlement,” Weinmann said. “We used the famous AP/Charlie Riedel photo of an oiled pelican because it is such a distressing image that we knew it would be hard to ignore.”

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