More than a year and a half after the disastrous collapse of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, it looks like someone may finally be held accountable for the accident, as federal prosecutors are reportedly preparing to file criminal charges against the oil company and perhaps some individual employees.
According to the Wall Street Journal, several Houston-based engineers and at least one supervisor could face felony charges for providing false information in federal documents. If convicted, that could mean up to five years behind bars.
However, the Journal’s sources say things are not yet set in stone and it’s still possible that those individuals may not ultimately be charged. A decision is expected in early 2012.
Meanwhile, it’s likely that BP, the company, will face criminal charges for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
Last year, the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which left 11 people dead and sent an immeasurable amount of oil spewing up into the Gulf of Mexico, earned BP the title of Worst Company In America in a very tight battle with Bank of America. It will be interesting to see if BP makes the list again this year or if it will have to hand over the Golden Poo to a new competitor.