Thursday, December 5, 2013

BP, Anadarko Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Spill Decision - Bloomberg

BP, Anadarko Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Spill Decision - Bloomberg:
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and BP Plc (BP/)  asked an appeals court to toss out a judge’s finding they were both liable under the U.S. Clean Water Act for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier found BP and Anadarko, partners in the doomed Macondo project, are automatically responsible under the law for polluting the water because they owned the well. The 2012 ruling allowed the federal government to seek fines of as much as $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled -- multiplied by as much as 4.2 million -- without having to prove the issue of liability at trial.
Both companies contend in filings with the U.S. Appeals Court in New Orleans that Barbier improperly decided the matter before trial. Anadarko also says the government is trying to shift the burden to the owners of the spilled oil rather than who’s responsible for the discharge.
“This isn’t a circumstance where the government gets to just make things up as it goes along,” Anadarko attorney David Salmons told the appellate panel at a hearing today. “The question is where the discharge is from, not where the oil is from.”
Neither company has much chance of prevailing before the appeals court, said law professor David Uhlmann.

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