BP execs may face manslaughter charges in Macondo blowout


By Justin Blum and Alison Fitzgerald
Bloomberg News

Federal prosecutors are considering whether to pursue manslaughter charges against BP Plc managers for decisions made before the Gulf of Mexico oil well explosion last year that killed 11 workers and caused the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history, according to three people familiar with the matter.

U.S. investigators also are examining statements made by leaders of the companies involved in the spill — including former BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward — during congressional hearings last year to determine whether their testimony was at odds with what they knew, one of the people said. All three spoke on condition they not be named because they weren’t authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Charging individuals would be significant to environmental- safety cases because it might change behavior, said Jane Barrett, a law professor at the University of Maryland.

“They typically don’t prosecute employees of large corporations,” said Barrett, who spent 20 years prosecuting environmental crimes at the federal and state levels. “You’ve got to prosecute the individuals in order to maximize, and not lose, the deterrent effect.”

The Justice Department in June said it opened criminal and civil investigations into the spill, which began after an April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig that London-based BP leased from Transocean Ltd., of Vernier, Switzerland. The department filed a civil suit against BP in December and hasn’t filed criminal charges. It’s continuing to investigate.

Examining Charges

BP fell as much as 10.9 pence, or 2.3 percent, to 466.2 pence in London, and traded at 467.6 pence as of 10:50 a.m. local time.

Authorities are examining actions by BP managers who worked both on the rig and onshore to determine whether they should be charged in connection with the workers’ deaths, according to the people. Prosecutors have been looking at charges of involuntary manslaughter or seaman’s manslaughter, which carries a more serious penalty of up to 10 years.

Scott Dean, a spokesman for BP in Houston, declined to comment. Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, wouldn’t discuss the details of the investigation.

BP has committed $20 billion to settle claims by businesses and individuals who were hurt by the oil spill. The company has already paid out more than $4 billion to settle such claims and to pay state, local and federal governments for cleanup costs, response and losses, the company said on its website.

The manslaughter investigation is focusing on decisions by BP managers leading up to the explosion that may have sacrificed safety in favor of speed and cost savings, one of the people said.

David Uhlmann, a former chief of the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section, said he expected that companies involved in the spill would be charged with seaman’s manslaughter. Making a case against individual managers would be more difficult, he said.

‘Low-Level People’

“You have relatively low-level people in these companies responsible for making bad decisions,” said Uhlmann, who now teaches at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. “It’s not clear they had adequate training. It’s not clear they all knew what everyone else involved knew.”

Attorney General Eric Holder in June listed a number of potential environmental violations under review in the criminal and civil investigations, including of the Clean Water Act. Holder, in his statement, didn’t specifically mention the possibility of manslaughter charges.

Investigators are scrutinizing emails and other documents to determine what BP officials and the company’s drilling partners knew when they testified before Congress in June and whether they withheld information, one of the people said.

When Hayward, who lost his job after the spill, testified before a House panel, one lawmaker said he wasn’t being forthcoming.

Don’t Stonewall

“I expect you to cooperate with us,” Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, told Hayward at the hearing. “Are you failing to cooperate with other investigations as well? Because they’re going to have a hard time reaching conclusions if you stonewall them.”

Hayward denied he was stonewalling and said he wasn’t involved in decisions about the well’s operation.

The investigation is being conducted by a task force within the Justice Department’s criminal division following a move this month to consolidate management of the probe. It’s being run by John Buretta, a senior counsel in the criminal division. Until then, the environment and natural resources division was running the bulk of the criminal case.

Environmental lawyers and lawyers from the U.S. attorney’s office are reporting to Buretta in the probe.

Combining Efforts

James Cole, the deputy attorney general, said he decided to consolidate the case to ensure “we used all the resources we had the most effective way we could.”

“I felt that the most effective way to proceed with this case was to combine the efforts into one group,” Cole said in an interview. “The focus of the case is the same. It’s just under different organization.”

Before the change, the criminal division had been focusing on whether BP made misleading statements after the spill and company executives traded stock based on insider information, two people familiar with the matter said. The environment division’s criminal lawyers had been examining violations of environmental laws, along with manslaughter, the people said.

Cole declined to discuss specifics of the probe.

“There is a lot of investigation yet to be done,” he said. “It’s going to head wherever the law and the facts take it.”

BP’s shares fell 55 percent in London intraday trading from a high of 658.20 pence on April 21 to a low of 296 pence on June 25. The shares closed in London yesterday at 477.10 pence.

Sealing the Well

Authorities are focusing on events leading up to the explosion of the well as BP and Transocean workers were trying to seal it. The companies wanted to move the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and replace it with a production rig that would pump oil and gas from the ground.

The companies had struggled with the well for months because the rock formation surrounding the oil and gas repeatedly cracked and collapsed on the hole they were drilling. In the week before the disaster, BP officials made repeated changes to the well plan, according to testimony in Coast Guard hearings, internal documents and investigation reports.

A commission appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the disaster identified 11 choices made in the completion of the well that both saved time and increased risks. Seven were made by BP managers on shore, the panel said.

Ignoring Halliburton

The decisions included moving ahead with operations without the recommended equipment, failing to run a test to ensure the well’s stability, and misreading the results of other tests.

In the days leading up to the disaster, BP officials were warned by Halliburton Co., the Houston-based company it hired to seal the well with cement, that their design might allow the oil and natural gas to leak to the surface.

Halliburton recommended BP use 21 centralizers that help ensure cement is evenly distributed in the well and seals it. BP had only six centralizers on Deepwater Horizon, according to internal e-mails released by investigators. BP officials decided to go ahead rather than wait for the additional 15.

They also decided to skip a test that would determine if the cement was stable, according to testimony at Coast Guard hearings. Then, on April 20, BP and Transocean managers on the rig misread the results of another test to determine whether the well’s cement seal was strong enough to hold the oil and natural gas beneath the ocean floor, according to the president’s commission.

In the end, the companies went ahead and removed the drilling mud from the well, which took 2,600 pounds of weight from atop the oil and gas reservoir. Within hours, natural gas reached the Deepwater Horizon and touched off the catastrophic explosion.

46 Responses

  1. roger1 says:


    Course there has probably never been, 11 counts of negligent homicide and/or $100B in fines and damages riding on the DNV and ABS inspections, tests and so forth, that I worked on.

    Just gear, safety and the possibility that human life might be ‘at risk’ somewhere in the life of the project.

  2. roger1 says:


    I HAVE worked with both firms on offshore projects.

    They verify everything that is on the check list.

  3. roger1 says:

    But – what the hey…

    The more the merrier, when the objective is Obstruction Justice.

    Corporations and Illegal Aliens now appear to be ‘Super Citizens’.

    Citizens face perjury, fraud, and Obstruction Justice charges.

    BP and the BP-6 are simply immune and too big to fail or go to jail.

  4. roger1 says:



    ABS has had a safety inspection team for decades.

    Same as DNV…

  5. roger1 says:


    I wonder why DNV (DET NORSKE VERITAS), a Norwegian firm) was selected to obfuscate on the BP Macondo mass murder scene.

    The ABS (American Bureau of Shipping)could have done the job.

    Just wondering …

    • Tom Fowler says:

      I think the contract for forensics was done via a competitive RFP (request for proposals). Looking at ABS’ web site it doesn’t really sound like they do investigations/forensics but develop standards, but I could be wrong.

      As far as their nationality, I don’t see why that would matter much. Norway has a pretty strong offshore industry, but I think many of the engineers on the DNV team in NOLA were Americans.

  6. roger1 says:

    BP called all the shots on the Macondo well. That is generally the case except when the contractor is drilling on a ‘footage’ contract.

    So the ‘shots’ that BP called; directly, and negligently resulted in 11 deaths.

  7. roger1 says:


    I wonder if the poll numbers have changed for prosecuting BP? Not that prosecution decisions are or should be ‘popularity contests”. Still …

    http://blog.seattlepi .com/seattlepolitics/ 2010/06/07/poll -criminaly-prosecution-of-bp-for-oil-spill/

    Poll: Criminal prosecution of BP for oil spill

    Almost two-thirds of Americans agree “strongly” or “somewhat” that the federal government should pursue criminal charges against BP and other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. The poll, conducted Thursday through Sunday, found that 73 percent of the country feels that the nation’s greatest oil spill is a “disaster” with an additional 25 percent ranking it a “serious problem.”

    Seventy-four percent of Democrats favored a criminal investigation along with 67 percent of independent voters surveyed. Republicans were divided, with 50 percent favoring pursuit of criminal charges, with 44 percent opposed.

  8. roger1 says:

    Hmmm … It is good to be KING…

    ‘Cash is King’ in these United States and BP has contributed a LOT of cash, to Obama and other DC politicians. However, it states here, that Queen Elizabeth II is the Regent of Great Britain… or more particularly …


    Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith,[2] Duchess of Edinburgh, Countess of Merioneth, Baroness Greenwich,[N 1] Duke of Lancaster, Lord of Mann, Duke of Normandy, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Garter, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Sovereign of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Sovereign of the Distinguished Service Order, Sovereign of the Imperial Service Order, Sovereign of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Sovereign of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Sovereign of the Order of British India, Sovereign of the Indian Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of Burma, Sovereign of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Sovereign of the Royal Family Order of King Edward VII, Sovereign of the Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Sovereign of the Royal Victorian Order, Sovereign of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

  9. roger1 says:

    “Equal justice under law” is engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building. The national government routinely uses Amendment XIV to ‘club Southern States’, but does not deign to grant any form of federal ‘equal justice under law’ to the citizenry.

    Why start now, over a few dead Cajun roughnecks and assorted other ‘Oil Field Trash’?

    That would be a ‘lot of bother’ to BP; and BP is a major political contributor…


    “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”


    Hugely hypocritical by my lights! However, it might be CHEAPER to sandblast that pesky expression off the SCOTUS building, than to prosecute the BP-6.

  10. roger1 says:

    … Well …

    There are lots of: Drunken Drivers, Drag Racers, Red Light Runners and Careless Hunters …

    Doing time for negligent homicide …

    Perhaps it would be CHEAPER to let them all out …

    Than to prosecute the BP-6; and ‘bring them to justice’

  11. roger1 says:

    – Oh no –

    Supersonic fluid laced with gravel; cuts the Blowout Preventer ram rubber seals and the annular rubber doughnut seal unit; to shreds.

    – It is too late to deploy a Blowout Preventer. –

    Much too late.

    – Oh no –

  12. roger1 says:

    For an encore, the obstinately stupid BP-6 pumped the seawater bottoms-up, and completely displaced the remaining heavy drilling mud out of the well bore. This caused a significant intrusion of oil and gas to rise up the annulus and casing to the surface, further reducing the seawater density and producing a significant kick. The moronic BP-6 ignored the warning kicks. The natural gas bubble expanded rapidly on the way up. This accelerated the fluid velocity up the hole. The kick grew more powerful but the BP-6 continued to … sit there dumbly.

    The kick became a blowout as the fluid velocity increased. It is now too late for a blowout preventer, unless you are very lucky. Oil and natural gas have completely displaced the saltwater in the well bore. The differential pressure and jet velocity fluid flow, first float and then launch the drill string into the air.

    The hollow pipe is now under compression, rather than tension. The pipe begins to corkscrew and kink as it rises up the wellbore. Pipe is launched hundreds of feet into the air like spaghetti and rain down upon the rig, crew, Escape-Pods and nearby ships. Massive explosions erupt into the air. About this time, 11 men are dying and all are in mortal danger or injured. The BP-6 are the very definition of negligent homicide. Against the orders of the BP-6, a contractor throws every valve to totally close all the BOP rams and the annular. The blind/shear rams close on a knotted up wad of twisted pipe, to little practical effect.

  13. roger1 says:

    Let us perhaps, again discuss the REAL mechanisms of blowouts, versus the overly selective, half truths and deceptions, of the recent DVN BOP report.

    BP deliberately displaced the heavy drilling mud with lighter seawater. This reduced the bottom-hole pressure slightly below the formation pressure. This subsequently allowed a slightly greater volume of formation oil and natural gas to flow into the annulus. So the mud volume return increased, if the BOP is open and the pressure increases if the BOP is shut. The BP Macondo well just failed Test-1, while the overpaid, stupid and/or drunken BP-6 (defendants) sat on their thumbs. It is as simple as that.

    BP pumped some more seawater down the drill string and again the mud volume/pressure at the surface increases even more dramatically than before. The BP-6 sat on their other thumb as the Macondo well flunked Test-2. They did it again and again, like they were trying out for the lead parts in ‘Dumb and Dumber’.

  14. roger1 says:


    Nope, nothing better to do … thanks for asking though…

  15. Jackalope says:

    This is the administration that allowed illegal gun sales to suspected Mexican drug cartels that were then used to commit murder (and tried to put the blame on American gunshop owners). Will the DOJ bring manslaughter charges against the administration for doing so? I highly doubt it.

  16. Jackalope says:

    Roger, don’t you have anything else to do?

  17. roger1 says:

    The photo above shows three (3) ships spraying water on an oil fire. That is one major MACONDO crime, being committed, in plain view, in broad daylight.

    That is the drill-ship being deliberately scuttled; for water spray does not extinguish an oil fire.

    This photo depicts the separate criminal act of deliberately converting a relatively harmless offshore flare into the largest offshore oil spill in American history. It is an open and shut case and not much of a … “Who done it”.

    Orders from the White House, so the US Navy and USCG stood down and let this environmental crime occur.

  18. roger1 says:

    Is this too much to ask of Great Britain and these United States?


    No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until

    “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

    But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

  19. roger1 says:

    The British Crown and courts are firm and fair in these matters.

    A few years ago, if memory serves, a British diplomat was accused in a drunken vehicular homicide.

    England ‘stood on ceremony’ and diplomatic immunity. An official G3 was sent to retrieve the accused diplomat. He was surrendered by American authorities and flew east towards home. The British Government decommissioned the plane and the diplomat over international waters.

    The now private plane and private British subject did a 180 and returned to the USA. The accused was unceremoniously dumped on the tarmac, and the plane returned to London. I do not recall the verdict of the court in the alleged vehicular homicide.

    The alleged MACONDO criminal acts occurred in undisputed US territorial waters. No diplomats appear to be involved in their official capacities. If the evidence implicates one or more British subjects in criminal activity … they will likely be remanded over to justice or even more likely willingly appear.

    The affairs of Western Nations generally outweigh the personal consideration of a few negligent twits, barring some signicant ‘rights issue’.

  20. roger1 says:

    Let’s take a close look at the ‘idiot, lackey or criminal’(s):

    Who ‘swabbed in that blowout’?

    Who ‘scuttled the ship’?

    Who gave the orders and who did the deeds?

    The last time I checked, that is what the courts are for… to establish the facts and the law.

    I reckon that there remains an honest judge and an impartial jury to be found in these United States.

    Let the chips fall where they may.

  21. roger1 says:

    By my lights…

    The BP guys on the rig; stand innocent, until PROVEN guilty.

    The BP guys on shore; stand innocent, until PROVEN guilty.

    Federal officials; stand innocent, until PROVEN guilty.

    Some or all may walk or do time; as the: evidence, law, skill of the attorneys, integrity of the judge and fairness of the jury may provide.

    The US DOJ should carefully consider criminal charges for 11 counts of homicide, malicious destruction of government property, perjury, subornation, false reports, obstruction justice, bribery, and 10,000 environmental violations.

    Indictments may, or may not; include every BP employee on site, various ‘on shore’ BP employees, US BP executives, Sir Peter Denis Sutherland (KCMG), Tony Hayward, employees of the federal Minerals Management Service and White House energy and climate adviser, Carol Martha Browner; as the facts and law may warrant.

    Let the chips fall, as they may…

  22. roger1 says:

    We are not presently advised of the names and/or nationality of the six (6) BP ‘Company Men’, who were on duty at the BP Macondo wellsite or of most of the ‘on shore’ BP decision makers.

    Let the chips fall where they may…

    American (CITIZENS) have a long history of giving fair trials to British SUBJECTS, if that be the instant case. No less than John Adams, the future (2nd) president of the United States, acted as defense counsel, for the British Troops, following the Boston Massacre (1770). The officer and most of his men, won acquittal from a colonial American jury picked from Boston. No one was hanged, even for willfully and repeatedly shooting civilians.

  23. Tiredayall says:

    There is nothing political about filing charges IF evidence shows or suggests that BP knew that their actions or failure to act could lead to injury or death to a person or persons. It’s the law. Reckless endangerment or reckless behavior should be punished — not simply ignored. Eleven people lost their lives and if someone who had the chance to prevent that didn’t, then they need to be made responsible for it. Same as a drunk driver who gets into a car and drives — that person knows that his actions may result in injury or death to another. I’m sick of people put political labels on every single incident. Get a life.

  24. Ted says:

    Peter wrote:
    “was caused by an American oil company (Occidental) operating in the North Sea, on July 6 1988”
    We can’t talk about that one because it’s Al Gore’s interests.

  25. Peter says:

    Some of the BP bashers should remember that the single worst accident in the oil industry was caused by an American oil company (Occidental) operating in the North Sea, on July 6 1988. The “Piper Alpha” accident killed 167 men, only 62 survived.

  26. roger1 says:

    ‘On Location’ …

    Who was the senior BP official?

    Who was the ranking BP official?

    Which BP official had the most offshore drilling experience?

    Which BP official(s) had direct (line) authority/responsibility for the Macondo Project?

    Which BP employees had the authority to ‘shut in the well’?

    Was there an ‘innocent BP trainee’ on the Macondo wellsite?

    Every man must answer for his own actions and statements. Who protested? Who went along and who resigned? Apparently, nobody ‘cowboyed up’, and 11 men died as a result.

    You know the drill; ‘Fess up boys’ and we’ll go easier on you.

  27. roger1 says:

    Individuals, in the employ of BP, appear to have committed eleven (11) counts of negligent homicide.

    There were, if memory serves, six (6) BP officials on the Macondo wellsite at the time of the blowout.

    Their individual statements, actions, notes, emails, ship-to-shore calls, emails faxes and other communications … are evidence of their guilt … or innocence … as the case may be.

    Plus, these six (6) individuals acted as a group, to commit arguably criminal acts … a textbook example of an unlawful conspiracty; should it be proven. Plus, these guys may have impeded the safe actions of others, acting in the natural course of attempted survival; which might constitute another layer of criminal charges.

    And then of course, it appears that these ‘gentlemen’ were ‘following orders’, which points the finger of criminal charge at their ‘on-shore’ supervisors and the BP Corporation as a whole.

    “Book ’em Danno … Murder 1!”

  28. Adler says:

    Obama and Holder stupidly continue to advance the destruction of private enterprise in the USA.

    Let’s hope the judge and jury remind them of the “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” requirement they have to meet in this persecution.

  29. buntingheads says:

    I am sick to death of our ignorant, stupid, revolting Justice Dept. They are the epitome of all that is and can be wrong with America. They are showing themselves to be above the law when it comes to the rules of voting (dismissal of Black Panther case). Additionally the DoJ promotes racism against whites (“the rogue DOJ – Holder – under the very same, so-called “post-racial” president – Obama – is pursuing a policy of racism towards whites when it comes to voter rights and their equal enforcement”). They go over and beyond to show favor towards Muslim actions (The Justice Department is suing an Illinois town’s school board over its refusal to allow a Muslim teacher three weeks paid leave so she could join the annual pilgrimage to Mecca). They break the law by not following and enforcing the law when it comes to Mexicans illegally crossing the border (instead they sue states that give up on the feds and make laws they can enforce themselves). They defy the constitution (marriage is between one man and one woman) and support gay marriage. They defy public standards when it comes to any person or company that willingly breaks the law (the Justice Department’s antitrust chief Christine Varney is convinced that tech companies are doing wrong and her people are going after them aggressively). And when the DOJ speaks of up going against Wall Street, they are actually going after the lesser of the problems (instead of helping the little guy, the Department of Justice is bending over backwards to protect giant corporations. For example, DOJ – along with the Department of Homeland Security – has also been using its national security powers to help big businesses such as Boeing). And now this manslaughter suit against BP. Imagine the costs to the taxpayer every time the DOJ decides to go outside the realm of gov’t and make asinine decisions. Ultimately WE must pay with our tax dollars for court costs, lawyers, witnesses, and for what? The government gets the money if they win. Not the victim’s families. And we all lose. I cannot wait for 2012. I want them OUT and I want Obama OUT. They are destroying our country and everything it stands for!

  30. roger1 says:

    Displacing the (heavy) drilling mud with (lighter weight) seawater; reduced the (bottom-hole) PRESSURE by 2,600 PSI (pounds per square inch). The ‘weight increase’ must include the surface area. For example at the bottom of the 9 inch (diameter) casing string, the surface area is (PiXR*2) or about 64 inches. The effective weight loss, at the bottom of the well, due to the lower density seawater is thus approximately 165,321pounds.

    This was accomplished by pumping seawater down the working string (drill pipe); turning the corner; and up the casing (and/or) annulus (as the case may be).

    With each small fluid displacement of drilling mud with seawater (measured in gallons or in vertical feet), the formation fluids (oil & natural gas) begin to enter the well bore and rise up the hole. Oil is lighter than seawater, which further decreases the bottom hole pressure and accelerates the rate of formation flow into the well bore. Nobody ‘misinterpreted the test’, unless they were stupid or drunk.

    The natural gas has virtually no weight, which further accelerates the rate of formation fluid displacement. Plus, the natural gas ‘bubble’ rapidly expands as it rises up the well bore. Very soon, the formation oil and natural gas becomes an uncontrolled blowout. The drill pipe is launched from the well like a missile, breaking into long pieces at it is shot hundreds of feet into the air.

  31. denmond says:

    As politically popular as this might be, I think it’s a dangerous precedent to set. Unless you can single out individuals AND the specific decisions they made proving they KNEW that those decisions would / could result in loss of life, this is a difficult case to prove.

    It’s one thing to prosecute behavior that is clearly reckless and shows wanton disregard for life, it’s another to prosecute for what turned out to be series of miscalculations and perhaps even incompetent decision-making. Some industries are inherently more dangerous then others and that should be recognized. Prosecuting individuals who are merely doing their jobs (no matter how well or poorly) is frankly, a bit of a chilling thought.

  32. Spendmoney says:

    Federal prosecutors are considering whether to pursue manslaughter charges against BP Plc managers for decisions
    What managers!!
    They’re gone….gone…gone….
    Along with any upper management. Current management is the replacement crew….the fall back innocent guys. They didn’t do it. We alls knows zat!!!!
    This shows how far ahead the Republicans cabal is ahead of anyone. Management was changed out in July (?) 2010! When it comes to protecting the dollar…..”no one does it better”.

  33. BOB says:

    No one in the car industry or the banking industry went to jail. Perhaps it is the communism pf this administration at work for us citizens to redistribute the money.

  34. willrogers says:

    That is what it is going to take to get many of the corporations to spend any money on safety.
    I personally think many of the managers and traders of Enron should have been charged with murder for the California blackouts. I wonder how many people died in traffic accidents, from the heat and lack of medical equipment working without electricity, as Enron and others manufactured blackouts.

  35. Walt2000 says:

    It’s about time. How did BP avoid manslaughter charges in Texas City?

  36. Ken says:

    About 80% of all wells dont have the exact number of centralizers that the salesman tells them to run. Also, many wells have been cemented with little or no cement tests performed. The real issue is the mis-interpretation of the negative test. NO ONE can ever tell what was on the mind of the persons involved in that decision, so how in the world could you ever prosecute a bad decsion. People make mistakes, like running a red light. Sadly this red light running caused the death of 11 people. Witch hunting may buy you votes, but in the end it does nothing but make the industy even more afraid to drill for oil.

  37. Zilch says:

    If the victims were female would it be womanslaughter?

  38. Max says:

    By this reasoning, I expect that the head of the US Army will be charged similarly in the deaths of the soldiers at Ft Hood, Texas. I cannot wait for this.

  39. James says:

    Gee…and we think Gadhafi is bad? Looks like the AG that refused to stop the NBBP’s voter intimidation and hate but likes to KILL business. This would be like Japan suing Buda for the Tsunami

  40. lawaggie says:

    “The manslaughter investigation is focusing on decisions by BP managers leading up to the explosion that may have sacrificed safety in favor of speed and cost savings, one of the people said.”

    If this Federal government does brings manslaughter charges for the decisions made in the course of conducting a legal business, be very afraid people. This administration is taking us down the path to a police state.

  41. joey bishop says:

    Its about time.

  42. Trail Trash says:

    Pretty much knew this was coming, but most of the “11 choices” cited that “saved time and money” mentioned in this article did not contribute to the failure. The misinterpretation of the negative test on the part of BP and the decision to go ahead with displacing the riser were the only ones directly related to the accident. I’m not against the charges. Take it to court and put it before a jury.

  43. gson says:

    Now that is just WRONG!!!! It is a tragedy that there was a loss of life. Of that there is no doubt. Trying to lay blame in this type of incident however, is purely based on political motives! In ANY venture such as drilling, deep sea exploration, space travel/exploration – there is always “risk” involved. In order for progress to continue, there will always be a modicum of risk involved. Should we charge NASA for manslaughter for the loss of life during the Challenger incident? We are in an era of exploration, discovery, and learning – how can we LEARN without taking the risk? How do we progress and evolve without risk? In every generation with each new discovery, there has been risk… drilling in deep water and all its implications is not 100% risk free…. we simply do not have enough “knowledge” yet… This incident, while tragic, has given us more information and provide us with more solutions than we ever had before. The lessons learned are invaluable. Yet, do we want to continue learning, developing, exploring and evolving only if there is a 100% guarantee that it can be done with complete safety? If so, we need to stop dreaming of going to Mars … we need to stop dreaming of building bigger, faster, deadlier airplanes. We need to stop dreaming period! Glad that wasn’t the case during Thomas Edison’s years, or the Wright Brothers era… without the risks, we wouldn’t be here today.

  44. Ludicrous says:


  45. Robert says:

    So much for Obama’s campaign contributions..