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-- -- About the BP oil spill.
I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college.
We talked to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick.
So will anybody do jail time for the spill and how big will -- be on BP joining us now former US attorney general.
Dick Thornburgh who oversaw the investigation into the Exxon Valdez oil disaster and of course this element.
That is great to have you on the shows -- and so many questions -- they get right to it.
In criminal charges almost likely very likely against BP.
But do you think it's possible that any of the executives from BP could see jail time.
Under the clean energy act.
-- it's been a long way from making those kinds of decisions because we don't even know what the facts are that'll be developed by them investigations are going forward there are.
Multitude of laws both civil and criminal on the books but they all depend on what the facts are as the investigators to -- -- What did one of the things that were saying already one BP official argues in the Fifth Amendment when he was called to testify -- congress.
Do you think that that will hurt the government's investigation if they do indeed proceed -- it.
Civil criminal charges against BP if official start to worry about incriminating themselves -- -- themselves going to jail.
Won't that hurt the government's case overall against BP.
Well as an investigator prosecutor you always want to have as much information and testimony isn't it available as you can and the same time there is a right to.
Use the Fifth Amendment to avoid self incrimination but I think we're way ahead of the curve here -- speculating about what might be forthcoming in the way of civil and criminal penalties.
Right you know I and I think -- -- point is well taken you have to wait -- -- -- at the evidence is but I think it.
The public is angry more of all of the lying in the misinformation that clearly came out -- that doesn't sound criminal at least yet.
While there there are a lot of elements that you have to look adhere number one -- -- on the civil side damages are obviously going to be.
Costs are already being undertaken and shutting down the spill.
And they'll have to got to pay for the clean up Bryant -- possible criminal charges if those laws are violated.
And the long term costs really are incalculable -- Dick how sorry gentlemen I need it -- I doubt that he'd interrupt you but I need to get your reaction to this as well that we're just we're just getting some breaking news in the box -- -- -- -- what you think Dennis.
Our partners ever Dow Jones are saying that BP CEO Tony Hayward is going to be testifying on the whole next week six I wanted to get your wraps off what our viewers -- we're going to be saying.
Tony Hayward in person -- Washington next week your thoughts.
Well that's appropriate the congress of course is one of the agencies that as a prime interest in undertaking.
Those will be forthcoming from a number of sources.
They've got to.
Report candidly and honestly on what happened.
And if they failed to do so they'll be consequences for.
In did what we see it in a lot of these six cases is right now is very crucial how the company handles it because later on.
It and they could be charged obstruction of justice -- what they're doing -- emails what they're doing with evidence that could be.
Potentially more incriminating for the -- -- environmental charges.
Well if the company's prudent they -- -- already issued an order to preserve all the company files are related to this matter.
They have a policy I'm sure of non destruction of any documents and you're actually right those are very serious skin if those rules are violated they could do give rise to separate criminal charges.
But the long term outlook here is is fascinating because.
When when I was governor of Pennsylvania we had to deal with the Three Mile Island crisis and the aftermath of that was them completely shut down.
The new construction of nuclear facilities -- you're not gonna have that in the oil industry to be sure.
But those are the kinds of things that -- really have to be dealt with.
And and -- also be calls for new laws new regulations and this is a multifaceted problem that to -- -- a very complex.
A series of incidents.
And you know Dick and I remember when you -- governor you certainly got so much credit for how you handled.
That disaster I wanna go back to the Exxon Valdez issue when you were attorney general -- -- quick because.
There's us there's a key difference in my mind between Valdez and BP and that is that you have eleven dad eleven workers are dead.
How severe do you think this is -- an effect when it comes investigations on BP and exactly.
What that what the fines are and if anybody goes to -- -- cancer.
Well -- it it has a definite effect there's no question about that when you have a loss of life for serious injury that puts a whole new dimension -- The the Exxon Valdez case.
-- to differentiate yet no loss of life he had substantial.
Environmental damage and the damage to.
But you also had a finite amount of of oil.
That carried eleven million gallons of crude and that was it here you have not reached the upper limit as you know what this bill's going to be ultimately so it's it's it's complex it's very tempting to make get.
These equivalent situations but I think we've got to wait and see.
Dick armor former US attorney general that it is great to have your crystal what's on -- story thank you -- very much for your time today.
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