Just one day after BP agreed to pay the federal government 4.5 billion dollars and criminal manslaughter charges were filed against two BP executives, we have yet another oil industry explosion in the Gulf.
It is too early to make a comparison, but it’s clear this is an industry that needs greater accountability. Unfortunately right now the legislative climate prevents that.
Federal maritime laws, on the books since the time the Titanic was at sea, shield both Big Oil and other negligent corporations from being held fully accountable for deaths on their rigs. These laws leave those affected by disasters at sea facing an uphill battle for justice.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion claimed the life of Gordon Jones and forever changed his family. Gordon was aboard the Deepwater Horizon working as a mud engineer when the rig exploded, leaving his widow Michelle to care for their two young sons, one born just weeks after his father's death. Gordon’s father, Keith Jones, was interviewed last night on WWLTV:
Congress must act. Unless these antiquated maritime laws are updated, victims of the high seas will not be adequately compensated for lost lives and livelihoods.