June 1st, 2010
11:48 AM ET
4 years ago

Holder to review legal options in Gulf oil spill

(CNN) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will head to the Gulf Coast Tuesday to survey the BP oil spill and meet with state attorneys general and federal prosecutors from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, according to the Justice Department.

Last month a group of senators - including Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California - sent Holder a letter expressing concerns "about the truthfulness and accuracy of statements submitted by BP to the government in its initial exploration plan for the site," and asking Holder to investigate possible criminal and civil wrongdoing.

But in a reply to that letter last week, a Justice Department official did not say whether a criminal investigation had begun.

"The Department of Justice will take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure that those responsible for this tragic series of events are held fully accountable," Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch wrote.

Holder said last month that the Justice Department would "ensure that BP is held liable."


Filed under: BP • Energy • Eric Holder • Justice Department
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Just Asking

    Since BP, which is in the oil industry has no idea what to do, the Federal government will, as usual have to step in and fix this. Get all the experts on this issue in a room, pay them what it costs to figure out how to stop this disaster and later on you can worry about how to assess blame and damages.

    June 1, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    They are liable. But they should also have charges of muder. 11 people died because of their neglect and thats all there is to it. So, when the activist Supreme Court set the bar low enough to allow corporations to be the same as a living people ,it should be NO problem for Holder to have ALL executives and major shareholders from all corporations involved arrested for muder.

    June 1, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. JonDie

    All BP's U.S. assets should be seized until the full cost of containment and clean-up is determined and paid for.

    June 1, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Dear Obama Administration,

    Why don't you concentrate your efforts on fixing the issue at hand? There will be plenty of time for pond scum blood sucking lawyers at a later time.

    Sincerely,
    America

    June 1, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    What is the Taliban Governor Mr. Jindal doing to fix the problem? Remember to hold true to your Taliban principles and turn down ANY federal government help. At least unemployment will improve since you now will have to employ a million pelican scrubbers....

    June 1, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Mark from Louisiana

    Shouldn't he be busy in Washington announcing a special prosecutor to investigate the deal offered to Sestak and the other guy from Colorado?

    This administration will go down as the most corrupt in our history........

    One
    Big
    Awful
    Mistake
    America

    June 1, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. wgm10

    Alot of blame should go to where it really belongs and that is the politicians that pushed drilling into the deep water in the first place. We need our own oil and could have come from 200 feet instead of 5000 feet. Just like our financial crisis if you really put the blame where it belongs, again politicians looking for votes pushing people into buying houses and other things they could not afford by lowering qualifications which as we know wall street took it from there and found a way to make a quick buck which could have been prevented by enforcing existing controls. No, they pass the blame for their misstakes and believe me healthcare costs will be next.

    June 1, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Joe

    I'd rather see the government's time and energy put into a massive effort to develop alternative energy sources and break our addiction to oil. We have enough natural gas reserves in our OWN COUNTRY to keep us going for more than one hundred years.

    June 1, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. SocialismBad

    "The Department of Justice will take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure that those responsible for this tragic series of events are held fully accountable," Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch wrote.
    =====================================================

    Does this include those in the Obama adminstration that were asleep at the wheel? Or partying up with the people they were supposed to be regulating? Or will they get a pass or maybe a promotion?

    June 1, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Angus McDugan

    Mr. Obama, your approach of punishing the company that you are relying on to fix the problem before the problem is fixed does not leave the public with a warm fuzzy about your ability to lead!

    This should happen later. Your scare tactic may make BP decide to focus more of their assets on settling this thing after it is all over rather than focusing on fixing it now!

    Start governing and leading!

    June 1, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. A Kickin' Donkey

    Good – we need a "Perp Walk" of British Petroleum, TransOcean, and Haliburton EXECUTIVES. 11 people are dead .... at a minimum it's MANSLAUGHTER.

    I'd much rather the public interest be served by the Attorney General looking into this that the faux scandal that the GOP is trying to gin up over the internship that was presented to Joe Sestak.

    June 1, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Ron

    All our worries are gone. He will have the problem solved in short order. What a waste of taxpayer money.

    June 1, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. katiec

    BP, Halliburton, Cheney should all be held responsible.
    What went on behind closed doors with Cheney and the oil companies will probably never be revealed.
    Is this where the 50 million cap on liability was decided?

    June 1, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    There needs to be criminal charges filed. Laws were broken, regulations bypassed. Most of all lives needlessly lost because safety was not the priority of BP.
    We have the regulations but when it comes to actually making felony charges against a corporation and sending executives to jail this Government and those beforehand just let it slide under the rug. Just like they did with AIG, BOA, Goldman Sachs and all those who caused the great recession.

    June 1, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. sharon

    b.p. ......HALIBURTON........transocean......HALIBURTON............

    HALIBURTON..........................HALIBURTON.......................................

    June 1, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Unfortunately, unless they use RICO or something like that, I'm not sure what they can do...
    Negligent homicide for killing the rig workers?
    Theft by deception for stealing the livelihood of all the coastal people that will be impacted?
    Reckless and/or Wanton destruction of property?

    They NEED to spend time in jail. We need new laws that clearly and succinctly define the crime and the consequences, which should include but not be limited to loss of any and all assets necessary to compensate for the TOTAL AND COMPLETE cleanup AND to make the citizens whole.

    June 1, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Mark from Louisiana Wrote:

    ""Shouldn't he be busy in Washington announcing a special prosecutor to investigate the deal offered to Sestak and the other guy from Colorado?

    This administration will go down as the most corrupt in our history........"

    NO! The Sestak thing is not a criminal situation, get over it... But wait! MAYBE you can get the Birth Certificate thing going again.

    Most corrupt? Not even if the Bush administration is never investigated. I'm SURE that this President has and will play fast and loose, but REALLY, THIS president is more criminal than GWB?

    June 1, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Brenda

    I wonder if Holder is going to investigate how many millions Obama received in campaign donations from BP and all other oil companies-–more than any other politician in the history of our country.

    I wonder if Holder is going to investigate---did the millions in campaign donations that Obama received--have anything to do with Obama's lack of response/incompetence in regard to this oil spill disaster in the Gulf.

    June 1, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Gerry NH

    Hey American Taliban – Evedently you do not pay attention to what is going on. Governor Jindal ask permission to build 24 berms to keep the oil out of the sensitive areas 3 weeks ago. Last Friday the administration said that they could build 6 berms but the federal government would only pay for one of them. Your question should have been directed tothe president.

    The president lied and pelicans died. RIP

    June 1, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Slick William

    Let us consider for a moment Government action and regulation in general:

    Someone is hurt in an auto accident – Seatbelt laws for everyone
    Someone gets lung cancer from smoking – Vice Tax on tobacco
    Someone would rather spend their cash on bling -HealthcareReform
    SEC fails to do it's job – Reform Wall Street Bankers
    Fannie and Freddie tank – Keep funding them!
    Southern Border being overrun by an invading force-Potential voters!

    Coastal Oil drilling- Not within sight of land result 1 mile deep w/ NO FIX!

    Reagan was 100% correct, Big Government is the problem!

    June 1, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Meka

    @wgm10
    Consumers bought homes, and there was NO REGULATIONS taking place . . . THANKS TO REPUBLICAN'S! WHEN THE 'ARM MORTGAGES' KICKED IN - JOBS OUTSOURCED . . . THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE A PROBLEM!

    SAME HOLDS TURE FOR THE OIL COMPANIES . . . NO REGULATIONS IN PLACE, THANKS AGAIN TO REPUBLICAN'S!

    June 1, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. tony

    Mark from louisiana so it is safe to say that the last administration(bush) was the gravest mistake made by america.

    June 1, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. Wisconsinite - Conservatives want to take their country back. Progressives want to move their country forward.

    @Mark from Louisiana: "This administration will go down as the most corrupt in our history........"

    Really???? More corrupt than the last one who lied over and over and over and over and over to the American public in order to invade a country and overthrow a government which DIDN"T attack us on 9/11????? Hey, go stick your head in an oil slick, Mark from Louisana!

    June 1, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Wisconsinite - Conservatives want to take their country back. Progressives want to move their country forward.

    A lot of the blame belongs on the heads of the American people who are insanely addicted to petroleum and the products produced from petroleum. We want what we want and we want it cheap, too!

    June 1, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. No More Dems

    I have the answer for you Obama – Just blame Bush – that's all you've done since you've been in office! Oh yeah I guess most folks figure everytime there is a problem and all you do is blame Bush it simply means you have no CLUE on what to do so play the kindergarten game and simply blame someone else!!!

    Eric Holder – this guys a clown! Why don't you focus on fixing the problem first before you try to figure out a way to sling mud

    June 1, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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