The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action has joined other business groups in supporting BP’s effort to fight the EPA’s debarment ruling, which suspended BP and its named affiliated companies from new contracts with the federal government.
The National Association of Manufacturers senior vice president and general counsel Linda Kelly calls the EPA’s ruling an “overreach” and says it sets a harmful precedent: “this debarment ruling seems to be ignoring the confines of EPA’s statutory authority in order to be punitive and to make a point.”
In November 2012, the EPA banned BP from federal contracts due to what the agency called BP’s “lack of business integrity” as demonstrated by the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response. According to the agency, suspensions are standard practice when criminal cases raise questions about a company’s lack of responsibility.
Earlier that month BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion and pleaded guilty to 11 counts of misconduct or neglect of ship officers, one count of obstruction of Congress, one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Clean Water Act, and one misdemeanor count of a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, all arising from its conduct leading up to or its response after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The explosion killed 11 people and caused what the EPA describes as the largest environmental disaster in US history.