A federal judge in New Orleans ruled this month that BP was guilty of "gross negligence" for its role in our nation's worst environmental disaster.
The ruling could result in an $18 billion dollar fine. The judge was blunt in describing what he called BP's "willful misconduct." He said the company's reckless actions were driven by a profit motive. BP is appealing his ruling; we're applauding it.
Eleven people lost their lives directly in the tragedy; many others lost their livelihoods or were impacted negatively in countless other ways. The full environmental impact may still be beyond our current comprehension. The finding that this tragedy resulted from somebody's idea of a way to make more money should be repugnant to all of us. So, a grossly negligent action should be met with a huge consequence that gives pause to the next group of executives who think they can cut safety corners.
We hope that BP's fine will match the crime and continue to allow our state and others to be reimbursed for the company's actions.