BP guilty – November 15, 2012 was a day of reckoning for the oil giant for the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP agreed to plead guilty to 12 felony counts and two misdemeanors for its negligence and role in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that took the lives of 11 workers and the oil spill that followed.
Attorney General Eric Holder, along with other Department of Justice officials, arrived in New Orleans to announce the guilty plea on that November day.
Three BP employees -- Robert Kaluza, Donald Vidrine and David Rainey -- were also charged in the case.
“A federal grand jury charged Kaluza and Vidrine, the two of the highest ranking BP officials stationed on the rig, with 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter, 11 counts of seaman's manslaughter and a count of negligently discharging oil under the Clean Water Act for their role in the Deepwater Horizon rig accident. Kaluza and Vidrine were the two BP 'company men' stationed on the rig. The indictment alleges that they were 'grossly negligent' in misinterpreting the results of a key test shortly before the well blew out,” wrote David Hammer an investigative reporter for WWL-TV. The three men are fighting the charges.
Environmental groups expressed outrage at the fine, believing that the oil company should be forced to pay more for staining beaches along the Gulf Coast and pumping millions of gallons into the ocean.