Groups seekings legal remedies against BP – for the Gulf marine wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife and the Southern Environmental Law Center are suing British Petroleum, based on charges the company harmed animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

A recent post in the Wall Street Journal’s blog section discusses the legal standing of animals and the lack of protection – under the law – for many animal species.

The piece also notes the Minerals Management Service gave the green light for oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico without permits the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act require.

In my view, this is certainly an important example of a case where animals should have greater legal protection. And certainly if it is found that BP or the other companies involved were negligent in any way in the events leading up to the explosion on the oil platform, then those entities should be held accountable – as it relates to the humans and animals impacted by the disaster.

And what about agencies like the Minerals Management Service, where officials ignored regulations or let the power of the oil companies trump environmental protections? Those officials should also be held accountable, along with any oil company officials who exerted pressure on the agencies.

It’s long past time to start holding powerful people accountable for their actions. So many people and animals have been negatively impacted in a terrible way by the Gulf Oil Gusher and heads need to roll over this disaster.

Every time I see a BP higher-up spin around a direct question from a reporter or try to suggest that people working around the spill are getting sick from food poisening rather than the oil spill or cry about how their life as an oil executive has been tough recently, it makes me sick.

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