A team of top federal prosecutors and investigators has taken the first steps toward a formal criminal investigation into oil giant BP’s actions before and after the drilling rig disaster off Louisiana.
The investigators, who have been quietly gathering evidence in Louisiana over the last three weeks, are focusing on whether BP skirted federal safety regulations and misled the U.S. government by saying it could quickly clean up an environmental accident.
The team has met with U.S. attorneys and state officials in the Gulf Coast region and has sent letters to executives of BP and Transocean Ltd., the drilling rig owner, warning them against destroying documents or other internal records.
Now that BP officials are starting to plead the 5th about the explosion, it’s past time to get them into a criminal court. And this shouldn’t end up as the status-quo for corporations charged with crimes. People need to go to jail for this and BP needs a fine well beyond the typical amounts we hear, most of which would amount to about a day’s profit for the oil giant.