Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)

Article Title

Crimes on the Gulf


President Obama has called the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." Pundits have debated the long-term ecological impact, the effect on jobs, the potential for psychological and physical consequences. The numbers are staggering: more than a dozen lives lost during and after the explosion, about five million barrels of oil spilled, some 1,500 oiled birds found dead, a payout of more than $4 billion by BP-with a lot more to come.

In light of the news story that has captured headlines since BP's well exploded on April 20, we asked two faculty members to share their thoughts about the spill. David Uhlmann writes about criminal prosecution, and Ted Parson offers his perspective about the effect the spill will have on energy policies. In addition, Law School staff member John Masson discusses the photos he captured when he was deployed as a Coast Guard reservist.

This article is an expanded version of Professor Uhlmann's op-ed, "Prosecuting Crimes Against the Earth"(New York Times, June 4, 2010)