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BP: The Criminal Enterprise

BP has been fighting tooth and nail to get out of paying the agreed upon amount of compensation to businesses adversely affected by the 2010 BP disaster. Now, the company has hit a new low. BP has started asking for its money back from claimants who were already awarded compensation.

Citing a supposed error in calculation designed to estimate the proper amount of money each business was supposed to received for damages, BP wants restitution and a free pass for yet another foul-up. BP says the calculation caused the oil giant to overpay the claimants. So what better way for BP to rectify the problem than to say “Hey, businesses, we messed up again by giving you money and we need some of it back.”

During negotiations with the Supreme Court, BP signed off on several terms of their compensation agreement that the company helped design. BP agreed to a certain amount of compensation based on these calculations, and they also agreed that direct harm isn’t required to win compensation from the oil company. BP has attempted to renege on its agreement relating to both parameters.

However, according to BP, the originally estimated amount of $7.8 billion was found to be too low, and when the company realized the actual cost would be higher, $9.2 billion, they scrambled to get an appeal from the Supreme Court to freeze the settlement payments. But SCOTUS determined that BP must adhere to the settlement agreement and denied the appeal.

Now, the company is saying that a calculation error caused them to overpay on some settlements, and BP says it should be paid back the extra money it gave to businesses affected by the spill. The move really goes to show BP’s tenacious criminality.

“This is just another attempt by BP to back out of the commitment it made to the Gulf. BP itself has already told the Supreme Court that it ‘will have no practical way of recovering’ the money is paid,” said attorneys Steve Herman and Jim Roy. “Every claim that was paid was done so according to an independent trust agreement that BP co-authored and agreed to.”

BP is a criminal enterprise and has been for decades. Its presence has destroyed plant and animal habits, and BP oil production has perpetuated violence and guerrilla warfare in Colombia. But the executives don’t care a single bit. They continue to dress up in Armani suits and Rolex watches and all too often we fail to recognize that they are still criminals.

Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.

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