Holder says BP not alone in oil spill probe: report

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – Suspected targets in the criminal investigation into the Gulf Coast oil spill may cover more than BP Plc, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

“There are a variety of entities and a variety of people who are the subjects of that investigation,” Holder said. “For people to conclude that BP is the focus of this investigation might not be correct.”

Politico.com reported that Holder declined to go further when asked whether the British oil company could still be the main target of the probe.

Holder spoke about the ongoing investigation in Aspen, Colo., at a taping of CBS’s “Face the Nation” scheduled for broadcast on Sunday, Politico.com said.

Federal agencies, including the FBI, are participating in criminal and civil investigations launched on June 1. The Justice Department demanded that the companies involved in the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, including BP, Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co, preserve records related to the accident.

The Justice Department was examining the companies’ actions for violations under the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which can be used to hold them liable for clean-up costs and reimbursement for government efforts.

Additionally, the Justice Department could pursue other traditional charges if they find the companies made false statements or obstructed the investigation.

Holder said federal officials were reviewing documents, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses but “wouldn’t put a timetable” on when any indictments might come down, Politico.com reported.

Asked whether BP was doing anything different in the Gulf of Mexico than others in the industry, Holder said there was a “certain commonality of the way oil companies had been operating.” But he did not go into specifics, Politico.com said.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; editing by Chris Wilson)

Holder says BP not alone in oil spill probe: report