This was originally posted by the National Wildlife Federation.
By Sara Gonzalez-Rothi Kronenthal, National Wildlife Federation
It took BP 87 days to cap the well gushing from a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, in an area known as the Macondo prospect. For months, BP shirked responsibility, hiding the flow-rate from government officials, shareholders and the American people.
It has taken plaintiffs’ lawyers representing federal, state, and private interests just three weeks to present evidence that BP’s actions constitute gross negligence. They rested their case today. Almost immediately, BP again denied responsibility — this time, to the court.
BP asked District Judge Carl Barbier to rule that there wasn’t evidence of gross negligence. Rather than delay justice for the Gulf, Barbier was clear: “Frankly, I’m not going to grant that motion,” Barbier said. “I don’t see any point in arguing it.”
In the elaborate dance of this multi-party, multi-claim, multi-district trial for the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, Transocean will present its case next. Transocean will likely argue the disaster was caused by the gross negligence of BP, or that the disaster was an accident.
As the oil companies point fingers, the impacts of the disaster on Gulf wildlife linger. Recent data suggests oil mixed with sediments in a dirty “blizzard” before settling on the sea floor, potentially causing “significant damage to ecosystems” and future harm to commercial fisheries. For the sake of the Gulf, it’s time for the blame game to end and for restoration to begin.