COMMENTARY | The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the biggest oil spill to ever happen in the history of the United States. An oil drilling rig exploded which caused the spill to dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the waterways surrounding the Gulf Coast. According to MSNBC, “the first criminal charges in the 2010 BP gulf spill were filed on Tuesday against a former BP engineer accused of intentionally deleting hundreds of text messages about the size of the spill. Kurt Mix, 50, was arrested earlier Tuesday and was set to appear in federal court in Houston, Texas, later in the day on two charges of obstruction of justice.”
The Impact of the Oil Spill on Americans
The Gulf Coast, including the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, lost a lot due to the oil spill. When oil leaked into the Gulf, it meant that fishermen could no longer fish because the spill needed to be cleaned up. When oil enters a body of water, it can contaminate the fish and seafood.
Many fishermen and other small businesses were impacted by the loss of revenue from fishing and the lack of seafood and fish. Many people sued BP for their lost wages but had to wait a long time before getting their claims compensated for.
The man who has been charged in the oil spill incident is just a small fish in a big pond. Mix allegedly deleted hundreds of text messages in relation to the oil spill and the safety of the oil rig. Many oil rigs have encountered mechanical issues due to safety violations. In many instances of oil spills, there are safety violations that end up causing problems. The investigation into the chain of events that led to the tragic oil spill is still ongoing. It stands to reason if more information will be released on the matter in the future.
Will Any Changes Be Made?
The 2010 oil spill should have woken up BP and other oil and gas producers so that they can prevent future spills. Oil spills are costly and they can impact many people. In this case, there has been just one person charged and the incident took place about two years ago. Many people were at fault for the fact that the oil rig malfunctioned and caused gallons upon gallons of oil to leak into the water. The fact that this man has been singled out alone does raise some questions as to whether or not the matter is being taken seriously. In the future, there might be more indictments handed down to individuals who caused the spill in the first place.