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?