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Volume 64, Number 6

Deterring and Compensating Oil-Spill Catastrophes: The Need for Strict and Two-Tier Liability

Nov. 29, 2011—The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill highlighted the glaring weaknesses in the current liability and regulatory regime for oil spills and for environmental catastrophes more broadly. This Article proposes a new liability structure for deep-sea oil drilling and for catastrophic risks generally. It delineates a two-tier system of liability. The first tier would impose strict...

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Catastrophic Oil Spills and the Problem of Insurance

Nov. 29, 2011—The BP oil spill of 2010 focused considerable attention on the operating conduct of BP, on the potential liability of BP and other entities associated with the spill, and on the fund that BP established to provide compensation to victims of the spill. Much less attention has been paid, however, to the nature and scope...

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Real-Time Economic Analysis and Policy Development During the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Nov. 29, 2011—The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill posed near-term economic risks to the Gulf of Mexico region and raised questions about appropriate policies to mitigate catastrophic oil-spill risks. This Essay reviews the Obama Administration’s assessment of the economic vulnerabilities to the spill, the Administration’s May 12, 2010, legislative proposal focused on minimizing the adverse economic...

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Coastal Wetland Restoration and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Nov. 29, 2011—Both the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2010 BP oil spill have focused attention on the need to restore coastal wetland habitats along the Gulf of Mexico of the United States. As restoration is required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, restoring coastal wetlands will be required as part of BP’s legal...

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Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, and Economics of Firm Organization and Safety

Nov. 29, 2011—Although the causes of the Deepwater Horizon spill are not yet conclusively identified, significant attention has focused on the safety-related policies and practices—often referred to as the safety culture—of BP and other firms involved in drilling the well. This Article defines and characterizes the economic and policy forces that affect safety culture and identifies reasons...

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Litigating BP’s Contribution Claims in Publicly Subsidized Courts: Should Contracting Parties Pay Their Own Way?

Nov. 29, 2011—In this Article, we focus on an important problem involving mass-accident cases that was highlighted by the Deepwater Horizon litigation: overuse of courts to enforce contribution claims. These claims seek to shift incurred or expected liability and damages between the business and governmental entities that participated in the activity that gave rise to the mass-accident...

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Organizational Apologies: BP as a Case Study

Nov. 29, 2011—This Article examines the conduct of BP executives in the weeks following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to illuminate the use of apology by organizations. After briefly describing the value of apology and its nuances from an evolutionary perspective, the Article describes how apology and other responsibility-accepting behaviors can be mobilized by organizations to avoid...

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Should BP Be Liable for Economic Losses Due to the Moratorium on Oil Drilling Imposed After the Deepwater Horizon Accident?

Nov. 29, 2011—In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident and the BP oil spill, the government imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The issue addressed here is whether, on grounds of policy, BP should be held responsible for moratorium-related economic losses. The answer that is developed is no. The reason,...

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