Same Old Story?

December 16, 2010

WikiLeaks U.S. embassy cables offer this footnote to FRONTLINE’s recent report on BP, The Spill:

A year and a half before their Gulf of Mexico disaster, the company had a giant gas leak halfway across the world at a gas platform in Azerbaijan. Luckily, workers were evacuated in time. But a similar script seemed to have played out: allegations of secrecy, withholding/delaying information, and failures with the cementing process. Production will be disrupted for months.

Back in the U.S., the Department of Justice yesterday filed a civil lawsuit against BP and eight other companies for damages resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion last April. The suit cites environmental damage and alleged violations of federal regulations concerning the operations and safety of oil rigs. It did not specify damages sought, but it could be in the billions.

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