From yesterday's Gulf Watcher's diary written by Lorinda Pike; we learn that once again oil giant BP has slipped away with an incredible victory; this time at the hands of the courts.
After much delay, the judge in the current trial has decided to fine BP a "whopping" sum of: $4 billion. I call that "Pocket Change".
Here is the detail revealed in the diary:
Judge okays $4 billion BP criminal settlement.(link provided in original diary)
A federal judge on Tuesday approved an agreement for BP PLC to plead guilty to manslaughter and other charges and pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties for the company's role in the 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Before she ruled, U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance heard testimony from relatives of 11 workers who died when BP's blown-out Macondo well triggered an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and started the spill.
Vance said the plea deal was "just punishment" considering the risks of litigation for BP and the alternatives to the settlement. She told victims' relatives who were in court that she read their "truly gut-wrenching" written statements and factored their words into her decision.
Remember this is for the murder of 11 workers and the huge economic & environmental damage done to the Gulf....
So, why do I call that "pocket change"?
Because less than 3 months ago, BP released it's 3rd Quarter earnings:
BP today announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2012, reporting underlying replacement cost profit, adjusted for non-operating items and fair value accounting effects, of $5.2 billion. It also announced an increase in its quarterly dividend to 9c per share – an increase of 12.5 per cent – expected to be paid in the fourth quarter.Release date 10/30/2012 (my emphasis)
So, the fine amounts to less than one quarters profits for these bastards!!
No wonder they accepted a plea bargain......
And, a US judge allowed it.....
Can't imagine that's going to do much to change the culture at BP.
Granted more is yet to come...but based on what we've seen so far; don't hold your breath for anything shocking.