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UK government steps in to back BP in US contracts ban



The British government has backed BP in a dispute over a ban that prevents the oil giant from winning US federal contracts, imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

BP filed a complaint in US courts over the ban, claiming that it was “inappropriate and unjustified”, and files submitted to the court show the UK’s backing of BP’s case, branding the order as “excessive”.

According to the Financial Times, the file says that the ban “affects jobs and pensions of workers in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere”.

“We believe that the EPA’s action here is inappropriate and unjustified as a matter of law and policy, and we are pursuing our right to seek relief in federal court”, said Geoff Morrell, BP’s head of US communications.

The ban was imposed after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill back in 2011 – which saw some 20m gallons of oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion which claimed the lives of 11 workers, leaving the Gulf of Mexico region devastated by the environmental impacts that followed.

The EPA justified the ban because of a “lack of business integrity”, amid revelations that workers and executives from the company attempted to cover up some of their actions which contributed to the disaster.

Further reading:

BP plans legal action over ‘inappropriate and unjustified’ US contracts ban

BP returns to US courts over Deepwater Horizon spill

BP wins appeal over Deepwater Horizon compensation payouts

US court grants suspension to BP’s Deepwater Horizon payouts

BP announces $3.7bn profits for third quarter of 2013


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