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BP and Three Executives Facing Criminal Charges Over Oil Spill 238

New submitter SleazyRidr writes "Finally some news that will please a lot of the Slashdot crowd: a company has been charged with manslaughter! BP has been charged with manslaughter following the Macondo Incident. 'BP has agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle the criminal charges and related Securities and Exchange Commission charges.' Two of the rig supervisors and a BP executive are also facing jail time. The supervisors are charged with 'failing to alert on-shore managers at the time they observed clear signs that the Macondo well was not secure and that oil and gas were flowing into the well,' and the supervisor is charged with 'obstruction of Congress and making false statements to law enforcement officials about the amount of oil flowing from the well.' Is this the start of companies being forced to take responsibility for their actions?"
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BP and Three Executives Facing Criminal Charges Over Oil Spill

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  • by Toe, The ( 545098 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:11PM (#42122295)

    Who knew that could ever come back and bite them in the ass?

  • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:21PM (#42122501) Homepage Journal

    When "BP" has to spend 180 days in prison like a regular person convicted of manslaughter then I'll believe it.

    Oh, and I'd want BP to be a registered felon, so no government jobs/contracts, no leaving the country and no crossing state lines without the court's okay.

  • Re:Scapegoats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:23PM (#42122525) Homepage Journal

    The larger damage was not to manslaughter but to destroying a complete ecosystem - Privatizing profits and socializing losses in action. Companies trifle with natural resources because they know if it all fails, we will have to pull together to get out of it.

    On the same note, why can people put a price on a pirated mp3, but not on a long-term damaged ecosystem?

  • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:24PM (#42122549) Homepage

    "...take responsibility for their actions?"

    No. This is just to appeal to environmentalists and the general populace, and will be a very rare occurrence. I verily doubt you'll see a single company in the next 10 years being forced to "take responsibility."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:26PM (#42122583)

    Yea but that's not exactly a market in which competition is a thing. They'll just jointly raise prices, the others will make a bit more profit in the short-term for when it's their turn to pay for a major fuckup and the industry as a whole does business as usual.

  • Re:Scapegoats (Score:2, Insightful)

    by operagost ( 62405 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:28PM (#42122611) Homepage Journal
    The ecosystem is not destroyed. The oil that entered the water is organic and constantly enters the oceans naturally. BP's negligence caused it to enter far more rapidly than the ecosystem could handle. This resulted in great immediate harm to sea life, but not permanent.
  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:29PM (#42122621) Journal

    Why can't we hold the financial industry accountable and start putting bankers in Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prisons?

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:35PM (#42122725)

    Oh how I wish this wasn't posted AC...

    Thats exactly how an oligarchy works. Today, company A would love to raise prices to make more money, but B and C won't play along, so they can't. We now know for certain that company B will raise prices next week by X dollars. Therefore A and C will match and stash away the profit.

    Its not entirely bad, because its not so much a fine for BP as a reward via higher profits to all their competitors. If CEO compensation were related to profit (which it is not) then there would be intense pressure to not screw up and miss out on the fine platter of free profit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:54PM (#42123069)

    This presumes that board members, major investors, and the CEO were both aware of, and actively refusing to do something about safety and environmental concerns.

    In a company the size of BP, it's flatly unreasonable to expect that the board & CEO will be aware of every minor decision and safety concern anywhere in the company the moment it is raised. Now, if there is evidence that those people were negligent in responding to, addressing, or correcting issues that they were clearly informed of, then you'd have a good argument for "jail terms" for these people. Without it, the blame rests with the people who FAILED to raise those safety concerns, or ignored those safety concerns, when it was their job to care about and address them - i.e., the supervisors, and the executive being charged.

    This "string up the board" argument is as stupid as it is misguided. It plays well to the idiotic "Occupy Wall Street" crowd; thankfully it doesn't play as well to an educated judiciary.

  • by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @05:59PM (#42123133)
    That's nice. So go right ahead and take up that manslaughter hobby you've always dreamed of! After all it was only what, 11 people killed? so $4.5 billion divided by 11: that means you can murder anybody you want for the low low price of only ~$409 million!. What are you waiting for!? ...I fucking hate this country.
  • Re:Scapegoats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @06:59PM (#42123925) Journal

    This was falsified a long time ago. Natural seepage into the Gulf nowhere equals what was puking out of that damaged well. The ecosystem has not returned to normal, and with the added known of the dispersal chemicals, no one can actually say what is happening or how long it will take for the oil to be absorbed. But this belief that bacteria just magically eat oil and in turn leave behind no deleterious side effects is pretty much akin to claiming that women's reproductive systems magically expunge rapists' sperm.

    But you would have made a great member of the group at the beginning of Thank Your Smoking; the oil company representative who insists that oil spills just get eaten up by the ecosystem, and even vaguely hints that ecosystems actually benefit from it.

    Actually, what you're post reminds of is a great and sadly departed Seattle comedy show called Almost Live, where there was fantastic sketch featuring a pro-tobacco lobbyist who said bizarre things like "Three out of four chiropactors agree that not only does smoking not harm you, but in fact places a protective coating on the lungs!" You could have done the followup sketch; "Three out of four industry 'researchers' insist that only do oil spills not harm the environment, they in fact feed the bacteria and make the environment even better!"

  • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @07:09PM (#42124053)

    BP is a multinational company, just like every large company that you think is "an American company".

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.