BP and DOJ Reportedly Reach Settlement on Deepwater Horizon Disaster

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/skytruth/4543311558/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Skytruth</a>/Flickr

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The Department of Justice, the Securities & Exchange Commission, and BP have reportedly reached a settlement agreement over the criminal charges related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, with the oil giant agreeing to pay $4.5 billion in fines.

The Washington Post reports that the BP will pay $4 billion over five years to settle with the DOJ, and another $525 million to settle SEC complaints:

“We believe this resolution is in the best interest of BP and its shareholders,” said Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP’s Chairman. “It removes two significant legal risks and allows us to vigorously defend the company against the remaining civil claims.”

To reach the settlement, the company pleaded guilty to a handful of criminal complaints:

BP agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect of ships’ officers relating to the loss of 11 lives on the drilling rig that caught fire and sank; one misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act; one misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; and one felony count of obstruction of Congress.

BP could still face enormous civil penalties for Clean Water Act violations based on the number of gallons of oil released, and for damage to natural resources. The settlement with the DOJ and SEC does not include a deal with cleanup workers and local residents impacted by the spill and does nothing to end private lawsuits filed by investors.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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