Blog

BP Disaster - U.S. Interior Department Sued Over BP Oil Spill

Photo of Brant Stogner

According to the suit, with regards to the BP Deepwater Horizon exploration plan, the Minerals Management Service had issued notices to the oil companies that they did not have to comply with the blowout and worst-case oil spill rules. Additionally, the agency failed to analyze the potential environmental impact of a blowout and spill, as is required by federal law (National Environmental Policy Act).

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. According to David Guest, an attorney for the plaintiffs, "this case is about lax regulation...it is actually easier to get a permit for an offshore oil well than for a hot dog stand." The suit seeks to invalidate the agency's practice of sending notices to oil companies informing them that they do not have to comply with the rules and to order review of existing offshore drilling plans that do not comply with existing rules. According to one of plaintiffs' other lawyers, Robert Wiygul, "the basic problem here is that the Minerals Management Service tried to change the law without telling anybody...that's bad policy, and the BP mess proves it is a disaster for the environment."

It is blatantly obvious that BP and the other major oil companies would prefer not to have to comply with federal regulations. It does not take any leaps of faith to understand that compliance costs the oil companies money, and BP is famous for its statements leading up to the 2005 Texas City explosion in which its executives bragged that they were "printing money." However, what I did not know was that the federal agency may have actually encouraged and promoted this type of behavior. The rules and regulations are only effective if they are enforced. It is shocking to learn that the federal agency may have given BP a "free pass" on compliance with safety and contingency measures. At this point, these are allegations only, as nothing has been proven. However, this particular lawsuit will be interesting to follow just to see if our own federal agency, which is charged with monitoring compliance with federal law, allowed BP to knowingly disregard federal law. If these allegations turn out to be true, this is not the fox guarding the hen house; but rather, is the bulldog letting the fox walk right in.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Firm News & Updates

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories