BP announced that they will settle with the federal government for $4.5 billion and plead guilty to 12 felony counts related to the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, the company received a vigorous defense from Fox News and others in the conservative media, which accused President Obama of "demonizing" the company for its role in the environmental disaster which killed 11 workers and caused billions of dollars in damage.
CBS News reported November 15:
Oil giant BP said Thursday it has agreed to pay the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company announced that it will pay $4.5 billion to settle with the federal government. The largest previous corporate criminal penalty assessed by the Department of Justice was the $1.2 billion fine imposed on drug maker Pfizer in 2009.
Meanwhile, a source close to the case confirmed to CBS News Thursday that two BP employees face manslaughter charges over the death of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the massive spill.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the deal, also confirmed that BP will plead guilty to obstruction for lying to Congress for its statements on the size of the leak.
At the time, right-wing media figures attacked congressional hearings on the spill as, in the words of Rush Limbaugh, "a show trial" similar to "what happened in Stalinist Russia." Fox's Charles Krauthammer compared the congressional hearings to "Incan ritual slaughter," while Glenn Beck called them "Salem witch trials." Bill Kristol said that BP was being "persecuted by a demagogic congressional committee chairman."