Obama administration files lawsuit against BP, eight other companies
A brown pelican struggles against the oil in the water on the beach at East Grand Terre Island, La., in June. The federal government is attempting to recover billions of dollars in damages.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration filed a lawsuit Wednesday against BP and eight other companies in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill earlier this year, seeking monetary penalties under the Clean Water Act and hoping to force the companies to pay for cleanup costs in the water and for the damage to natural resources.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, alleges a series of violations of federal safety and operational regulations in the April 20 explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the gulf.
"We intend to prove that these defendants are responsible for government removal costs, economic losses and environmental damages without limitation," announced Attorney General Eric Holder.
According to the government's complaint, the companies "failed to take necessary precautions" to properly control the well before the explosion and "failed to use the best available and safest drill technology" to monitor the well.
The other defendants in the case are Anadarko Exploration & Production LP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC; Triton Asset Leasing GMBH; Transocean Holdings LLC, Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. and Transocean Deepwater Inc.; and Transocean's insurer, QBE Underwriting Ltd./Lloyd's Syndicate 1036.
The companies did not have an immediate reaction to the lawsuit, though many of them have pledged in the past help bear the costs of the cleanup.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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