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Eyeless Shrimp and Fish With Tumors: The Horrific Consequences of BP's Spill

Despite mounting environmental and health consequences, not to mention the death of 11 workers, no executives have received jail time.

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How will the government cases be resolved? Potential penalties of more than $17 billion for environmental violations remain on the books for BP. Peter Lehner, Executive Director of Natural Resources Defense Counsel writes in his blog, "How the remainder of the case pans out says a lot about the future of energy in this country. Will the government allow BP, and the rest of the oil industry, to continue business as usual with nothing more than a slap on the wrist? Or will the company be put on trial and held accountable for its actions? Will the penalties be severe enough to make the oil industry clean up its act? BP reported profits of $21.7 billion in 2011, nearly 3 times the estimated cost of its settlement with private parties in the Gulf."

And one question looms even larger than the spill, the resulting legal cases or even BP profits: How can we establish a separation between the oil industry and our government?

 

Lisa Kaas Boyle is an environmental attorney based in Los Angeles. Lisa is a Vanderbilt and Tulane Law School alum, former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, long time Heal the Bay Board Member, Co-Founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition, and frequent blogger on environmental and human rights issues.

 
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