Mix “worked on internal BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from the well and was involved in various efforts to stop the leak,” the Justice Department said in a press release.
Throughout the spill, BP consistently provided flow estimates to the government and public that were later revealed to be far lower than the actual discharge from the well. For the first two months of the spill, BP claimed that its best estimate for the flow from the well was between 1,000 to 5,000 barrels of oil per day.
The official government estimate, made using measurements directly from the wellhead, concluded that the flow was more than 50,000 barrels per day.
The criminal charges may validate concerns raised by scientists, elected officials and environmental groups that BP officials deliberately misled the government and the public about how much oil was leaking from the ruptured well.
It’s fairly significant that the first, I hope of many, charges are against BP and not Transocean or any of the other companies involved in this disaster.