|November 28, 2012
BP Plc (BP/), which agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, will be suspended from winning new contracts from the federal government, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today.
The Interior Department also said it won’t award BP any leases in a Gulf auction today because the company has been barred from winning federal contracts. BP would be eligible for the leases when the government ends the contract suspension, the agency said.
The EPA said the ban was imposed because the company’s conduct during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster showed a lack of business integrity. The action, which doesn’t affect existing contracts, will stand until BP can demonstrate it meets business standards set by the government, the EPA said. The incident killed 11 people and caused the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, it said.
“The suspension of BP is surprising and a win for holding all companies, big or small, accountable to the federal government and taxpayers,” said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Washington-based Project on Government Oversight.
Amey questioned whether the government could put BP “in timeout” because it is a top federal contractor supplying petroleum products to the Pentagon.