I could not understand what the British Petroleum spokesperson said. It is our oil, our responsibility and we were not drilling and then he said it was a contractor who was responsible. Firstly I think it may be America's oil, not BPs. But is this an example of issue confusing?
So what happens to a company when it is responsible for an appalling environmental disaster? Often nothing. But let us take a look at one very bad disaster for the environment, also involving large quantities of oil being spilt. Who could could forget the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989? I understand the some effects of the spill from the ship are still present.
A jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages. The company appealed, appealed and appealed again and the figure was reduced to around $500 million, below the amount that had already been paid out and so effectively, $5 billion in punitive damages was reduced to $0. That is my reading of it anyway.
Wildlife toll stats?
Up to 250,000 seabirds
2,800 sea otters
12 river otters
247 bald eagles
billions of salmon and herring eggs
Widespread reductions in many animal populations due to the ingestion of contaminated soil.