Press Release

Jan 27, 2012

Markey: Latest Email Confirms BP Actively Hid Spill Rate Information, BP Should Drop Challenge to Size of Gulf Oil Spill

Issues: BP Oil Spill

Washington (January 28, 2012) - With release of previously secret internal emails that indicate BP recognized that the amount of oil that could spill into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion could have been up to 81,000 barrels a day - an amount much higher than what even the federal government believes spilled into Gulf waters - Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) called on the company to stop challenging the size of the spill in an effort to avoid paying what could be billions in fines for violations of the Clean Water Act as a result of the disaster. The BP email correspondence released by the company yesterday also indicates BP was aware of this potential oil flow rate at the earliest points of the disaster and actively worked to hide this information from others. BP has challenged the flow rate and total spill numbers reached by the U.S. government's scientific team, which will be critical in determining the amount BP will have to pay in fines.

"This latest internal BP email is a significant development and confirms what I have asserted all along - that BP knew that the likely flow rate of oil was much higher despite their public protestations and actively worked to hide the truth," said Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee and the Congressional leader on investigating the BP spill. "We need to learn more about why BP was publicly claiming the spill rate was so low while it clearly knew it was much higher. I plan to investigate exactly what BP executives knew about the potential amount of oil spewing into the Gulf, when they knew it and why this critical information was not shared with others. This smoking gun email should blow away BP's disingenuous challenge to the size of the spill. It is time BP accepted the federal government flow rate findings and finally own up to its responsibilities to the people of the Gulf of Mexico."

More information about Rep. Markey's flow rate investigation can be found HERE