The Obama Administration today filed a civil suit against BP and four other companies over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on today, charging violations of U.S. environmental laws, in the opening salvo in what will likely be a lengthy legal battle.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement in a news conference this afternoon. The suit names and seeks damages from BP, Macondo well minority owner Anadarko Petroleum, Deepwater Horizon rig operator Transocean, Japanese company Mitsui (which owned a small stake in the well through an operating affiliate), and BP's insurer, Lloyd's of London, for their roles in the worst offshore oil spill disaster in U.S. History.
In the lawsuit, the Justice Department asks the court to waive the Oil Pollution Act liability cap of $75 million
Interestingly, the lawsuit did not name Halliburton which did the cementing for the Macondo Well, nor Cameron International, which provided equipment for the well, but the investigation is ongoing, and more defendants and charges could be added later.
"We intend to prove that these defendants are responsible for government removal costs, economic losses and environmental damages without limitation," Holder said in his statement.
"Both our civil and criminal investigations continue,” he reiterated.