The news just broke that BP, the British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is to pay a $4.5 billion (€3.52 billion) fine for massive damage done to the environment when its Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in April 2010, causing a whopping 206 million gallons of crude oil to leak into the Gulf of Mexico.
As well as this, the incident led to 11 drilling rig workers losing their lives, which is why two BP employees must now also face manslaughter charges for their being negligent.
More precisely, drilling managers Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine were found guilty of not properly supervising the tests that were supposed to make sure the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was safe to operate.
“In the face of glaring red flags indicating that the well was not secure, both men allegedly failed to take appropriate action to prevent the blowout,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said.
One other BP employee, David Rainey, who used to work as vice president of exploration for the Gulf of Mexico, was accused of having lied to US authorities and to the Congress when asked to provide an estimate for the amount of oil that hit the surrounding environment in the aftermath of the explosion.
“From the outset, we stepped up by responding to the spill, paying legitimate claims and funding restoration efforts in the Gulf,” said Bob Dudley, BP's group chief executive.
Furthermore, “We apologize for our role in the accident, and as today's resolution with the U.S. government further reflects, we have accepted responsibility for our actions.”
Following this settlement, the US National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the US National Academy of Sciences and the US Securities and Exchange Commission are to get $2.4 billion (€1.88 billion) , $350 million (€274.4 million) and $525 million (€411,16 million), respectively, Huffington Post reports.
In case anyone was wondering, this is the largest settlement of its kind in the history of the US.