Surprise! BP Would Rather Pay A Few Million In Fines Than Billions

Oh, silly BP! Of course you want to be fined by the day and not by the millions and millions of gallons of oil you spilled into the Gulf of Mexico! The big bad oil guys have asked the U.S. government to levy their fines for the April 20, 2010 oil spilled based on the days the Deepwater Horizon rig spewed black stuff into the water, not how many barrels of crude oil it gushed.

The Houston Chronicle reports on court filings where BP, currently in the Elite 8 of Consumerist’s very own Worst Company In America tourney, says that the Department of Justice’s lawsuit is not cool for seeking to fine them on the 4.1 million or so barrels of oil that flowed into the Gulf. That rate would be at $1,000 to $4,300 per barrel, a penalty which depends on whether willful negligence is determined.

Instead, they want to pay around $32,500 per day, citing the Clean Water Act. The Macondo well — which erupted on April 10, killing 11 workers — was capped July 15 and finally, permanently sealed Sept. 19.

Doing the math is fun and shows even more why BP wants to go the per day route: Per barrel will cost BP about $4.1 billion to over $20 billion, while the per day fine would be around, oh, $2.8 million to $4.9 million.

We see what you did there, BP!

BP asks that fine not be based on total of Gulf spill [Houston Chronicle]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.