As Deepwater investigations turn up evidence of negligence — including a blowout preventer that was out of batteries and hadn’t been properly tested — it’s becoming obvious that someone will face criminal charges.
McClatchy quotes the former head of environmental crimes at the Justice Department, David M. Uhlmann: “There is no question there’ll be an enforcement action, and it’s very likely that there will be at least some criminal charges brought.”
Criminal charges would put an axe through a $75 million cap on civil charges for oil pollution. The cap was already looking flimsy as Obama asked Congress to set a higher limit.
Prosecutors in criminal cases can seek twice the cost of environmental and economic damages resulting from the spill, according to McClatchy.
So what’s the damage?