Holding BP Accountable: Oil Spill Trial Set to Begin Monday

NWF Teleconference Looks at the Possible Implications for the Gulf

02-22-2013 // Lacey McCormick

With a February 25 trial date looming, BP and the U.S. Department of Justice will either reach a settlement or go to trial within the next few days.

The National Wildlife Federation hosted a teleconference with representatives from three of America’s leading conservation organizations to explore how much BP could be facing at trial, what this case means for restoring the Gulf of Mexico and what a just outcome for the American people would look like.

Listen buttonListen to the press teleconference

Below are a few choice quotes from the participants:

John Kostyack, Vice President of Wildlife Conservation, National Wildlife Federation

“The Department of Justice has a responsibility to set a penalty amount that factors in BP's assets—which we know are nearly $300 billion dollars—and the risks that they will continue business as usual if their bottom-line is not affected by any settlement.”

Brian Moore, Legislative Director, National Audubon Society

“It has been over 1000 days since the Deepwater Horizon disaster began and unfortunately the Gulf Coast is still reeling from the damage caused, and we are still waiting for BP to be held accountable for the damage done to the ecosystem. …There is a simple rule that we all should be reminded of—we have seen it posted in stores throughout our lives, "You broke it, you brought it!"

Courtney Taylor, Policy Director, Land, Water and Wildlife Program, Environmental Defense Fund

“We have got to keep in mind the scale and the scope and the extent of BP's responsibility for what happened in this event. As the Department of Justice has made it very clear, there were a series of events leading up to the spill where BP… botched fundamental and critical safety tests. Then there was lots of back and forth between emails with BP executives where they knew it was out of hand, but they really weren't doing anything about it. … We really believe firmly that BP needs to be held accountable and certainly any size of any resolution of this case, whether through trial or through a settlement, needs to be on the high end to reflect all of the negligence that went into this.”