Washington, D.C. -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, reacted to today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that BP has pleaded guilty to criminal charges arising from the massive oil spill along the Gulf Coast in 2010. BP employees have also been charged with manslaughter, misleading Congress, and other crimes.

Senator Boxer said:
"I commend the Department of Justice for holding BP criminally accountable for its actions related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster - the largest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history. Eleven lives were lost and untold damage was done to the Gulf Coast region, and then BP lied to the American people and Congress to cover up the enormous amount of oil that was spilling into the ocean. It is entirely fitting that the company will pay a record $4.5 billion in criminal fines and penalties, and I strongly encourage BP to quickly and responsibly resolve the civil claims that are still pending."

On May 17, 2010, Senator Boxer and seven other Senators sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that DOJ open a criminal investigation on the Deepwater Horizon disaster, including on whether BP made false and misleading statements to the federal government.