The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed a temporary suspension on British Petroleum regarding future potential contracts with the U.S. government.
A temporary suspension does not affect any existing contracts the company has with the US government, including those relating to current and ongoing drilling and production operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
The EPA’s has called for the suspension until the company can demonstrate present responsibility to conduct business with the U.S. government.
BP contends it has been in a regular dialogue with the EPA and has already provided both a present responsibility statement of more than 100 pages and supplemental answers to the EPA’s questions.
BP has accepted criminal responsibility for its conduct relating to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response.
The EPA has informed British Petroleum that it is preparing an administrative agreement that would lift the temporary suspension and notified BP that a draft agreement for review would be available soon.
In the two and a half years since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the US government has granted BP more than 50 new leases in the Gulf of Mexico, where the company has been drilling safely since the government moratorium was lifted.
BP is the largest investor and deepwater leaseholder in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 700 blocks and 7 rigs currently drilling that impact the economies of nearly every coastal Mississippi city from Pascagoula, through Biloxi and on to Gulfport.
Over the past five years, BP has invested more than $52 billion in the United States. That investment represents more than any other oil and gas company and is more than it invests in any other country of the world where it operates.
The company employs 23,000 Americans and supports nearly a quarter of a million American jobs.
BP continues to monitor the Gulf and its shoreline, and the company has supported regional tourism, promoted Gulf seafood and committed $1 billion to early restoration projects.
Column prepared by Hank Richards, Gulf Coast rootshed.com writer and a BP press pool reporter for the Gulf Coast Restoration Program.
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