Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Behind the BP Oil Spill


               This past week marked the two year anniversary of the disastrous tragedy that was the BP oil rig explosion.  As we all know the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded back in 2010 killing 11 people on board and dumping immense amounts of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  It took BP nearly five months to seal the leak at the bottom of the gulf, but by then the damage had been done and over 210,000,000 gallons had escaped.  Everything in the area was affected, including wildlife, which lead to food and health issues, with BP bearing the brunt of the criticism and rightfully so.

                My mother actually works for British Petroleum, and she said it was a tragedy to say the least, but it shames her to see when people make a mockery of it that don’t know what they are talking about.  In think she is referring to the south park episode that claims the BP oil rig drilled a hole into another dimension, unleashing the dark lord Cthulhu, to wreak havoc on all of earth.  To even further the joke, former CEO of BP, Tony Hayward made several appearances on the three part episode starring in commercials making fun of the “were sorry” campaign.


                All jokes aside the criminal justice aspect finally made its way into the situation recently, charging a former BP engineer with obstruction.  Kurt Mix a resident form Texas was charged by the Department of Justice with obstruction of justice for apparently intentionally destroying evidence about the explosion that the authorities wanted to review.  Attorney General Eric Holder was quoted saying that “Mix allegedly deleted records concerning the amount of oil flowing from the well after the explosion in April of 2010.”  He continued on noting that the Deepwater Horizon Task Force is continuing its investigation into the explosion and will hold all of those in connection with the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history accountable.

                Basically what the prosecutors were saying was that Kurt Mix was in charge with estimating and documenting the amount of oil leaking after the explosion and rupture of the well.  BP officials were on record saying that they sent numerous notices to retain all information regarding the leakage.  Mix had a string of text messages with BP officials that apparently contained false information, in fact the information he had indicated that the amount of oil leaking was three times less than it actually was.  Mix then deleted all of these messages.  However as we know cell phone text messages can be retrieved by phone companies well after they have been deleted.  I’m not sure what Mix was doing or what he was trying to cover up, but he had to have known that nothing good was going to come from this.

                In the end Mix can face up to 20 years in prison and up to a 250,000 dollar fine, all for deleting some text messages.  I believe this penalty is a little steep but at the same time with all things taken into consideration it may be well deserved.  After all this is the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.  What do you guys think?



  1. I believe that most South Park episodes are satirical. They cross the lines sometimes, but in the end this is the result which I am guessing they are going for. Further investigation into a tragedy which affected much of the gulf's wildlife as well as economy. I also find it hard to feel any sympathy for Karl Mix when considering his maximum 20 year sentence. He obstructed an investigation which terribly impacted our environment.

  2. I think the entire BP spill was a disaster for sure. It is part of life to have oil spills. These spills have been going on since mankind have been drilling for oil. I don't think Mr.Mix should be held responsible by any means. First of all lets talk about why this whole thing happened in the first place. I think due to all of the environmentalist protesting against off shore drilling. They voted to have oil companies who want to drill for oil go further out, and this mean deep water drilling, which was the main cause for the length of this spill. I think that if they were allowed to drill closer to shore , they wouldn't have had to drill so deep. It seems to me BP had their hands tied. People including environmentalists want their oil, and demand it at a low cost. On the other hand they want to make oil companies follow bogus environmental laws.So BP was damned if they did and damned if they didn't. I think people should blame the environmentalist a little, instead of blaming BP, and throwing their employees under the bus.