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BP May Lose U.S. Oil Leases, Contracts After Spill (Update3)

Publication Date: 
June 14, 2010
Source: 
Business Week - Bloomberg
Author: 
Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Jeff Plungis

Professor Michael Wara is quoted on the debate over whether BP should be barred from doing business with the U.S. as punishment for the Gulf Coast oil spill. Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Jeff Plungis of Bloomberg Businessweek filed this story:

BP Plc may lose control of its U.S. oil and natural gas wells and be barred from doing business with the federal government as punishment for the worst oil spill in U.S. history, industry and regulatory analysts said.

President Barack Obama and lawmakers are debating penalties that would cripple the company’s ability to do business in the U.S. as public outrage intensifies. In addition to BP’s culpability in the Gulf of Mexico spill, a 2005 explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and a 2006 pipeline leak that dumped 200,000 gallons of crude at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, will figure in the debate, said Michael Wara, associate professor of environmental law at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

“The government weighs whether there is a pattern and practice,” Wara said. “They’ll consider whether BP runs these incredibly complicated systems, where accidents can and sometimes do happen, or whether the company has a culture that disfavors safety and environmental compliance.”