Remember the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that killed 11 people and dumped some 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf a few years ago?
Well now the company has been ordered to pay the largest environmental fine in the nation’s history at $18.7 billion dollars, the final settlement to be divvied up among the Gulf states who suffered most in the oil spill’s wake.
Sure, $18.7 billion sounds like a lot of money even these days, but check out this chart (via The Independent):
The company only made 928.67 billion in revenue in the years since the spill. How ever will they be able to pay that hefty fine? (It’s not even 10% of the company’s gross profit; it barely makes a dent.)
This money won’t make it to the pockets of the people actually affected. It never does.
$18.7 billion… So that’s how much it costs for the deaths of 11 people, the rape of a whole ecosystem, and continuous negative health impacts on millions of humans and animals throughout the area for years to come?
Hundreds of tar balls still dot the beaches of Louisiana even today, something that will continue for who knows how long. But don’t worry:
BP senior vice president Geoff Morrell says the signs are good for a healthy Gulf.
“There is nothing to suggest other than that the Gulf is a resilient body of water that has bounced back strongly,” he says. “The Gulf has not been damaged anywhere near the degree some people feared it would have in the midst of the spill.”
The company, who obviously has a great vested interest, says it’s all good.
On a sidenote, did you know that BP Oil CEO Tony Hayward sold off 1/3 of his total BP stock (that’s 223,288 shares) on March 17th — just a month before the explosion? Did he know something the rest of us didn’t?