On the day three employees of BP are to be arraigned on criminal charges, the United States announced that the company is banned from winning any new government contracts until they get their act together. The indefinite suspension issued by the Environmental Protection Agency cites a "lack of business integrity" based on BP's handling of the 2012 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It's all part of a larger punishment that includes a plea bargain on numerous criminal charges stemming from the accident.
The ban does not affect any current BP contracts. BP is a major supplier for the U.S. military, and while they will continue to sell and produce oil in the U.S., the ban could allow other companies to cut into their market share. They also can't get any new drilling leases from the Interior Department until the suspension is lifted.
The corporation has already agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter for the death of each worker lost when the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded, as well as numerous environmental charges, and they will pay $4 billion in fines and penalties. The company still faces civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act and will go on trial next year.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans, two supervisors who worked on the oil rig have also been indicted on manslaughter charges, and another BP executive has been charged with obstruction. All three were to be arraigned in New Orleans today.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.