EDF; RBS; BP: February in headlines
Here, Blue & Green Tomorrow rounds up some of February’s biggest headlines – a month that was dominated by court cases involving EDF, RBS and BP.
After activists halted operations at an EDF power station last year, the energy company swiftly took legal action. The protesters now face jail, bankruptcy and homelessness after being sued for £5m (No Dash for Gas protesters being sued for £5m by EDF).
Writing in The Guardian, George Monbiot called EDF’s claim “revengeful” and stated that EDF “has made the biggest strategic mistake since McDonald’s pursued two impoverished activists – and inflicted more damage on its brand than its critics had ever managed” (EDF’s vengeful £5m No Dash for Gas lawsuit is corporate and PR suicide).
No Dash for Gas protestor Lawrence Carter wrote a piece for Blue & Green Tomorrow (Me and my friends are being sued by EDF. This action should concern us all), while The Guardian also published a letter from a number of high-profile green campaigners who collectively stated, “This heroic group of people deserve medals, not a multimillion pound lawsuit” (EDF legal action is blow to the right of democratic protest).
The Independent presented No Dash for Gas protester Ewa Jasiewicz’s reaction alongside Greenpeace executive director John Sauven’s thoughts on EDF’s hefty claim (EDF launches £5m civil claim against group of activists who shut down power station).
Meanwhile, Economic Voice explained how attendees at the Green Party conference had offered their support to the No Dash for Gas activists (Greens offer support to the No Dash for Gas activists being sued by EDF).
Another big court case that had caused a global media discussion is that of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which received a fine of over £390m for its role in fixing the Libor rate (RBS dealt £390m fine over rigging Libor rate).
BBC News called RBS’ action a “scandal” in a piece that incorporated a video of the Financial Services Authority’s head of enforcement, Tracey McDermott, claiming that there was “extensive wrongdoing” at RBS (Libor scandal: RBS fined £390m).
The Guardian’s Graeme Wearden live blogged the announcement; providing background to the case and highlighting reaction to the fine from Twitter users (RBS fined £390m for rigging Libor interest rate – as it happened).
A piece by FT advisor said how senior RBS officials had promised to remedy the bank’s wrongdoings, but had ultimately failed – which is why it received a larger fine than Barclays (RBS hit with larger fine due to broken promises, FSA).
The final court case in this news round-up concerns oil giant BP, which faced civil claims in relation to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (BP faces £11bn civil fine over Deepwater Horizon misdeeds).
The Financial times wrote a piece about the long fight ahead, describing former chief executive Tony Hayward’s body language as “awkward” during the trial (Long fight ahead in BP oil spill trial).
Elsewhere, the New York Times reported on the consequences that BP could face if Judge Barbier were to find the company grossly negligent under the Clean Water Act (As BP Trial Opens, Hints of Progress on a Deal).
Finally, the Wall Street Journal summarised the two days of the Deepwater Horizon trial, asking “What’s the score?” (BP Trial: Cost Cutting and Safety Under the Microscope).