BP to Pay $4.5 Billion for Deepwater Spill; Guilty of 11 Felonies

Reuters reports that BP has agreed to pay an extra $4.5 billion in fines for its actions during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

The British oil company will plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct and neglect — which led to the death of 11 workers — one misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act, One misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty and one felony count of obstruction of Congress. CBS News reports that two BP employees will face manslaughter charges for the 11 people killed in the explosion.

The oil spill happened in 2010 when the Horizon deepwater drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. An underwater pipe burst during the explosion and BP was unable to cover it for three months. During the three month span a total of 4.9 million barrels of oil leaked into the ocean causing major environmental and economic damage to the outlying areas.

The $4.5 billion price tag is the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. The old record holder was $2.3 billion that the DOJ ordered Pfizer to pay back in 2009.