In court filings, the U.S. Department of Justice has now said that BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill was due to their "gross negligence" and "culture of corporate recklessness". This opens up BP to the highest level of fines for the oil spilled into the gulf, which could eventually total more than $21 billion dollars for the more than 4 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and the leading Congressional force to investigate and hold BP accountable for its spill, released the following statement:
"It's time for BP to face the facts that their mistakes, their negligence, and their speed-over-safety mentality is what caused the 11 deaths, the millions of barrels of oil spilled, and the environmental and economic damage to the Gulf region. They can't litigate these facts away with all the lawyers in the world, and the Obama administration is right to take a hard line against BP's tragic errors."