Listen to this segment | the entire program
is the second anniversary of the worst environmental disaster in US
history. Coming just before Earth Day, on April 20, 2010, The British
based company, BP’s, Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig off the coast of
Louisiana exploded killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Spilling
almost 185 million gallons of oil over the course of 86 days, the
explosion of the rig caused a leak one mile below the surface of the
ocean. In the course of its cleanup efforts, BP chose to use nearly two
million gallons of a controversial dispersant called Corexit. It wasn’t
until September 19th, 2010, that the government declared the well
Now, just a couple of days before the 2nd anniversary of the BP
disaster, the company announced it had reached a $7.8 billion settlement
of a class action lawsuit representing thousands of businesses and
individuals impacted. A Federal judge will have to finalize the
settlement and has announced plans to hold a “fairness hearing” before
signing off on it. The case against BP was not allowed to go to trial.
However, it is possible that unresolved claims by the government and
states against BP, and claims against the other companies involved,
Halliburton and Transocean, may proceed this May.
The environmental and health impacts of the BP spill are far reaching
and may not come to light for many years yet. However, scientists are
deeply concerned about unusual health effects seen in fish and other
marine life in the Gulf Coast, and doctors are monitoring a wide range
of neurological and physiological effects seen in residents all along
the Gulf Coast.
GUEST: Antonia Juhasz is covering the historic trial against BP
for The Nation with support from The Investigative Fund of The Nation
Institute. She is a leading oil and energy analyst and author of several
books, including Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil
Spill. Juhasz wrote the cover article of this month’s Progressive
Magazine on the BP spill.