The environment is a delicate thing. Unfortunately, oil spills happen all too frequently, threatening the ecosystems that surround pipelines. It is important to make certain that everything is in perfect working order to protect the planet. But nature is not the only thing threatened by potential leaks - the energy companies themselves stand to take significant hits financially for failing to inspect their equipment properly.
Reuters reported that BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. - the two organizations connected to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 - is liable to pay fines related to federal pollution laws, a U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday. According to Bloomberg, the maximum fines of $18 billion and $4.6 billion could be imposed on BP and Andarko, respectively, if U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier rules that the actions of the two companies were "grossly negligent."
Regardless of the outcome, this was still something that could have been prevented. Had the proper predictive maintenance hardware and programming been in place, BP and Andarko might not be threatened with the sizable fines that are currently being considered.