Attorneys for the NWC submitted a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for an investigation of BP and the entire oil industry, including contractors and subcontractors, for fraud committed against the U.S. government. The letter explains that the False Claims Act, the most powerful law available to deter fraud and enforce federal regulations, is the best legal to available to the Department of Justice to hold BP accountable for the full extent of their actions.
The letter outlines a number of the misrepresentations BP made to obtain authorization to drill at the Deepwater Horizon rig, and explains, "while the purpose of the False Claims Act is not to protect the environment per se, it is applicable in this case because it is intended to ensure honesty and openness when companies do business with and obtain benefits from the United States, such as a lease." (Read the full letter here).
This is a topic we have written about before, and we continue to advocate for whistleblower protections for oil industry employees. Members of the public can take action by sending letters to Congress supporting best practice whistleblower policies. Employees looking for legal advice can contact the Attorney Referral Service of the National Whistleblower Legal Defense & Education Fund.
The NWC press release is available here.
*Meryl Grenadier (NWC Fellow) drafted this post.