US Attorney General Eric Holder launches a full-out criminal investigation of the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
Visiting the Gulf of Mexico for the first time, US Attorney General Eric Holder stated yesterday, “we must… ensure that anyone found responsible for this spill is held accountable. That means enforcing the appropriate civil—and if warranted, criminal—authorities to the full extent of the law.”
From early stages of the response effort, Justice Department attorneys have been in the gulf gathering information and reviewing everything from the Clean Water Act to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to the Migratory Bird Treaty and Endangered Species Acts.
“If we find evidence of illegal behavior, we will be forceful in our response,” Holder said. “We have already instructed all relevant parties to preserve any documents that may shed light on the facts surrounding this disaster.”
Of course, this should be expected, but knowing the concessions government makes for big business (and especially big oil), it is good to see the Attorney General making such strong statements on this important matter. 11 people were killed at the onset of this disaster and countless more will have negative health effects from it as well, not to mention the unthinkable ecological and economic results of this great tragedy.
It appears that the Justice Department was pushed forward by concerned Senators, but hopefully they were on track to make this move anyway.
Matthew McDermott over at TreeHugger reports, “This all comes after a group of Senators sent Holder a letter last week urging an investigation of potential criminal and/or civil wrongdoing by BP; and statements by Holder last month that the Justice Department would ‘ensure that BP is held liable.'”
This is sure to take some time, but the big first step to get things started has now been taken.
Image Credit: maistora via flickr/CC license