By Bianca Alexander
“BP acted with utter disregard for human safety, wildlife, and water quality in the Gulf”
If you thought justice would never come to mother earth for the BP Oil Spill back in 2010, think again. On September 4, 2014, a federal judge ruled BP was “grossly negligent” in its actions that led to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, making it legally and financially liable for damages to countless people, animals and the planet.
According to Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, this ruling "is a monumental decision for protecting wildlife, communities and natural resources. After a thorough review of the evidence, Judge Barbier confirmed that BP acted with utter disregard for human safety, wildlife, and water quality in the Gulf.
In his decision, the judge ruled that BP's willful misconduct and gross negligence put people and wildlife in grave danger. Eleven men lost their lives. Bottlenose dolphins, endangered sea turtles and countless species of fish and wildlife perished. Studies have estimated that the oil killed an astonishing 800,000 birds and caused billions of dollars of economic damage.
This decision is a critical step towards ensuring BP is held fully accountable for the impacts of the Gulf oil disaster. Though it took years to matriculate a ruling requiring BP to restore the Gulf's vibrant ecosystem – nothing short of a national treasure – it's refreshing to see that justice demands nothing less.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.
To learn more about the current status of fourteen species in the Gulf, read their recent report: Four Years Into the Gulf Oil Disaster: Still Waiting for Restoration.