Emails: BP Lied About Extent of Oil Spill

Accused engineer plans to release evidence
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2012 3:47 PM CST
Emails: BP Lied About Extent of Oil Spill
In this Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, file picture, BP PLC's CEO Bob Dudley pauses during a results media conference at their headquarters in London.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Emerging evidence may support accusations that BP initially lied about the extent of its devastating 2010 oil spill, reports the Huffington Post. Former BP engineer Kurt Mix, charged with destroying spill-related text messages, plans to defend himself by releasing emails that show BP knew about the true extent of the leak almost immediately. Mix's lawyers say he warned a supervisor that the fatal rig explosion could leak up to 146,000 barrels per day—but just two days later, BP executives were estimating the leak at 1,000 barrels per day.

BP pleaded guilty last month to several spill-related felony charges, including misleading Congress about the spill's size, but so far only one executive has been indicted—and he plans to plead innocent. The slow criminal prosecutions at BP are "a central issue," says one critic. "It shows just how morally and ethically bankrupt institutions within BP were." But Mix is in hot water too—for deleting hundreds of text messages he sent a supervisor during the leak, after being "repeatedly informed of his obligation to maintain such records," says an FBI special agent. (More BP oil spill stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.