BP Will “Kill Again,” Former EPA Officials, Attorney Warn
Sunday, 18 November 2012 08:27
By Jason Leopold, Truthout
Is a record $4.5 billion fine, guilty pleas to 14 charges and the indictment of three employees enough of a deterrent to stop “serial environmental criminal” BP from placing profits before safety?
If history is any guide, Scott West believes the answer is a resounding, “No.”
West is a former veteran special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division. In 2006, he led an investigation into BP and the oil behemoth’s senior officials for alleged crimes associated with an oil spill that year at BP’s Prudhoe Bay operations on Alaska’s North Slope, one of which spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil across two acres of frozen tundra – the second largest spill in Alaska’s history, which went undetected for a week.
West, who was profiled in an investigative report published in Truthout a month after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf that killed 11 rig workers, said he felt an ongoing investigation would have revealed enough evidence to convict the company and “very senior officials on felony charges . . . . The Bush DOJ shut it down before it had reached any logical conclusion,” West told Truthout “My investigation should have lasted another two years or so.”