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U.S. ready for trial in BP case

March 1, 2012 by  

WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) — The U.S. government is ready to go to trial over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers.

An explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010, killing 11 rig workers and leading to one of the worst disasters in industry history.

British energy company BP announced in February that the U.S. District Court in New Orleans postponed a trial investigating its role in the accident until next week to allow for talks on a possible settlement.

Holder testified before the House Appropriations Committee that the government was ready to go to trial if the settlement talks fall through.

“We are prepared to go to trial,” he told the committee Tuesday. “We were ready to go to trial yesterday.”

The government, he added, has a “strong case” regarding potential violations of the Clean Water Act. BP denies the allegations though it’s set aside $3.5 billion to settle the alleged violations. Holder didn’t discuss the potential settlement specifically.

Spencer Cameron

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