USA v BP Exploration and Production, Inc. Case

2021-05-05 19:55:32
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The idea of embarking on offshore drilling practices is threatening the immediate flora and fauna inhabiting the water masses. In response to the dangers of offshore or inland oil spills and related activities, which threaten the general welfare of the environment, the USA stipulates numerous legal acts to deter negligence and ignorance to critical human activities. While assessing the situation in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaskan regions, it is evident that the Earths living organisms are likely to suffer long-lasting consequences from the oil drilling projects. Therefore, the US District Court of Louisiana imposed claims towards BPs Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill accident in consideration to the affected facets of the environment. For instance, the death of eleven people amounted to manslaughter; hence, the court was acting in accordance to the Seamans 18th clause, U.S.C & 1115. Rachel Carson asserts that people should be aware of offshore drilling or any other mining activities since a bigger percentage of civic groups, legal teams, and nations address any critical accidents with strict regulations.

The legalities safeguard the benefit of the majority society subject the mining activities where benefits are accrued by a small group of people. Accordingly, the courts application of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C., 1321 (b) (3) was a justified decision. Rachel Carson insists that the rest of the human population is subjected to dependency on oil products to run their automobiles and other machines at the expense of their immediate environment (375). On the other hand, accidents relating to oil spills in large water masses threaten the ecosystem; thus, the outcome of such disasters harm the entire life cycle. Arguably, lives depend much on water hence would suffer broadly because of pollution. The Louisiana court understood the dangerous impacts of offshore oil drilling and related accidents on the living organisms and the environment. Hence, the administrations notion that BP was subjected to $28 billion worth of claims was the only available alternative to adopt a legal framework that would punish the companys negligence in exploration and production while still indicating the need for other stakeholders in the oil industry to consider a replacement of similar operations with environmentally friendly occupations.

Similarly, Stephen Powells article, A Risk Analysis of Oil Development in the Arctic National, indicates that the offshore drilling does not serve the interests of the majority, but provides selfish benefits to certain groups of Americans. It is argued that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Alaskan region is protected from any human activities that may eventually expose the living things to adversities (ANWR). The author reports that the human activities witnessed in the region are likely to pose negative effects to the regions Gwichin Community and the wildlife at large. To that extend, the justice team at the Eastern Louisiana District Court acted for the benefit of the American society by stating the probable $4billion stake that BP would pay as damages for environmental pollution. Stephen Powell argues that some species of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaskan region are facing extinction, and the oil exploration and production activities are responsible (Powell 14). For instance, killer whales, counts of bird species, fish and the White Polar Bear are some of the animals that are vulnerable to extinction in the event of oil mining (Arctic Refuge: Oil and Gas Issues 2).

Considering the threats, the presumed verdict and fines remain legally binding as stipulated in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C., 703, 707 (a). Hence, its essentiality is ensuring that oil explorations and subsequent development are nullified before the drilling processes begin since their outcomes will serve not for the benefit of the U.S community but a specific group of selfish individuals. Further, the courts decisions depended on the existing legalities imposed by the Federal Constitution such as the Laws and Regulations to Curb Acid Rain, Clean Water, and Clean Air threats.

The American Research Bureau asserts that the future projections of the Alaskan oil mining projects seem to reflect no significant changes in the oil prices. For instance, the research indicates that the changes in prices will be minute and unrealized since they will vary from the actual prices from a low of $0.45. The exploitation of the oil resources in the Alaskan region is ill with its side effects posing long-lasting threats to the lives of the inhabitants (U.S. Energy Information Administration 2). The conclusive evidence denotes that BP was liable to its Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in all of the stipulated claims, both constitutional and civic.

Reasons for accepting the plea agreement

The research indicates that the oil reserves in the region are estimated to stand at a total of 1.3 trillion barrels (210 km3). BP understood the vital considerations made by the countrys administration to ensure full environmental recovery; hence, the subsequent decisions to hold the company responsible for its technical malfunction. After evaluating the differences that would have resulted from the activities, the company was vulnerably guilty. The guilty plea was inevitable as the justice team understood the necessary and sophisticated measures that in BPs project (NRDC: Drilling in the Arctic Refuge: The 2,000-Acre Footprint Myth). For example, the technical framework was not tested for its credibility in withstanding the production tasks. Secondly, the staff members who died in the accident lacked expertise in managing and operating the companys newly developed rig. Undoubtedly, the occurrence of the first disastrous oil spill in the countrys history was a controllable case if the company had implemented all the necessary measures at the right time.

According to NRDC researchers, a collection of various photographs depicts the effects of oil mining on the Gulf of Mexico and the ANWR. For instance, the dead whales, birds, and sea plants, and the stones stained with oil indicate that the accident exposed the regions living things to death and other long-term threats to the ecosystems recovery process. It is known that living things are interdependent for survival; hence, the oil spills in the region are likely to expose every living thing in the region to extreme danger. Some microorganisms will die at the initial stages of the exploration.

By understanding the different hazards related to the accident, BP resolved to plead guilty to the existing criminal counts at the Louisiana District Court. Contrasting reports presented by the DOE indicate that authorities depend on geological surveys to spearhead the project, a factor that may lead to negative implications in case the estimates seem to contrast the ideal amount of resources in the field. The controversial debate is the imminent force that propelled BPs resolution to appeal for federal reconsiderations on the imposed fee for the numerous damages. The American authorities concerned with the water, land, and air conservation and the one tasked with Alaskan conservation projects intervened and ensured that the legitimate claims made on the oil mining accidents remained applicable.

Apparently, BP pleaded guilty to the counts, but cried foul in the execution of the financial settlement scheme for the claims. Notably, the company acknowledged any appeals relating to mining exploration and production acts other than those currently amended would be void and subject to supervening inconsistencies. Regarding the legal fees attributed to the companys attorneys and the clean-up costs, BP considered the guilty plea a salient decision to avoid more financial constraints to the already slumping revenues. From an ecofriendly perspective, the company consideration reflected its acceptance and respect to ensure that the ocean resources would coexist in the future for benefit the bigger part of the population.

Aldo Leopold assessed the environmental sketches in his home county in Wisconsin and realized that the society needed to put more efforts in the restoration of the environment. The book A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There enabled Aldo Leopold to reach an overwhelming population of readers (20). It is known that the book has a record sale of over two million copies. Therefore, the American society seems to favor credibility and accountability in ecological-friendly activities rather than those that seek to accrue economic benefits only. In the Red Legs Kicking story, the author seeks to enlighten the society of the advantages that future generations will lack with the increase of human activities in the conservations. Considering his boyhood hunting activities, the author seems to be criticizing all those activities, which may pose an ultimate end to the practices.

Subsequently, the presumptions invoke the companys expectations from interest and civic groups. Arguably, the American and global population views any activities that cause short and long term environmental threats as illegal and worth avoiding or fighting for the non-existence. The aggravated situations make the society react to the projects that pose threats to the lives of flora and fauna. The offshore drilling activities are likely to influence the Arctic ecological system negatively. It is undoubted of the deaths that are likely to emanate from any accidental oil spill in the projects. The companys plea was a strategic decision to refurbish its tarnished reputation to the anxious corporate and public entities through submission.

Summary of the criminal prosecutions

First, an act of negligence leading to subsequent loss of lives is considered a criminal offense in the US constitution. Hence, BP was liable to Seamans 18th clause, U.S.C & 1115. First, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the global community has been wary of the consequences that offshore wells are likely to cause in case of further spillages. It is known that the American seas and oceans are prone to heavy storms, which often sweep across the land leaving damaging effects on the territories. Considering the unpredictability of such events, key researchers from the Gwichin community assume that the damages that will possibly occur following a storm in the Arctic Sea will damage the oil-drilling infrastructure.

Secondly, BP was guilty subject to Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C., 703, 707 (a). Notably, the damaged drilling equipment will lead to oil spills in the sea and the Alaskan region, in particular, a factor that will cause death of the marine living organisms. Consequently, the animals and plants in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will suffer the same consequences as the sea inhabitants. The region is a habitat to a lot of endangered species. Considering the presence of animals such as caribou in the region, the group of researchers indicates the vital importance that the region bears in protecting some species against rapid extinction. What is more, the Gwichin people observe that the increased human activities will harm the breeding of the Polar Bear and Porcupine Caribou species, which will limit the cultural activities of the community (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Wilderness Icon).

On the third account, BP was liable to an offense as stipulated under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C., 1321 (b) (3). In the Silent Springs, Rachel Carson narrates about the difficulties that the living organisms face in the event of pollution. Seemingly, Rachel Carsons colleague, Bob Hines photographed and painted the wildlife with the motive that the society would realize the beauty of the wilderness. The essence is that t...

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