Markey: BP Suspension of Government Contracts Proper Punishment

WASHINGTON (November 28, 2012) – Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today praised the Obama administration for suspending BP’s access to federal contracts, including new drilling leases on taxpayer-owned land. Rep. Markey had originally raised the issue of whether BP should be suspended or disbarred from future lease sales at an oversight hearing in October of 2011 with the then-head of the leasing arm of the Department of Interior, saying that those measures should be considered, “to protect everyone from the same set of events” as the BP spill. BP was also charged with lying to Congress for giving misinformation to Rep. Markey about the size of the spill, and pled guilty to other charges.

“After pleading guilty to such reckless behavior that killed men and constituted a crime against the environment, suspending BP’s access to contracts with our government is the right thing to do,” said Rep. Markey, the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee. “When someone recklessly crashes a car, their license and keys are taken away. The wreckage of BP’s recklessness is still sitting at the bottom of the ocean and this kind of time out is an appropriate element of the suite of criminal, civil and economic punishments that BP should pay for their disaster.”

While BP has pled guilty to criminal charges, penalties for the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico are still outstanding, and could go as high as more than $20 billion for the company.

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