Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Environmental Law Research Guide: BP Oil Spill Resources

This research guide provides students, practitioners, and scholars with a variety of resources that will assist in research on issues related to environmental law. It also contains a section dedicated to issues regarding the BP oil spill.

The BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill presents numerous legal questions currently being litigated in courts throughout the country. With this in mind, this page provides legislative and secondary sources that frame and answer many of the legal questions stemming from the BP oil spill.

Relevant Legislation

The following are the primary statutory regimes related to the BP Oil Spill.

Oil Pollution Act of 1990

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

Clean Water Act

National Environmental Policy Act

Legal Scholarship

I. Articles Relating to Liability for the BP Oil Spill

Vincent J. Foley, The Changing Landscape for Oil Pollution in the United States, 74 Alb. L. Rev. 515 (2010).

Lawrence C. Smith, Jr. et al., Analysis of the Environmental and Economic Damages from British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 74 Alb. L. Rev. 563 (2010).

Itzchak E. Kornfeld, Of Dead Pelicans, Turtles, and Marshes: Natural Resource Damages in the Wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 38 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 317 (2011).

Andrew B. Davis, Pure Economoic Loss Claims Under the Oil Pollution Act: Combining Policy and Congressional Intent, 45 Colum. J. L. & Soc. Probs. 1 (2011).

Thomas C. Galligan, Jr. & Brittan J. Bush, Displacement and Preemption: The OPA's Effect on General Maritime Law and State Tort Law Punitive Damages Claims, 42 Cumb. L. Rev. 1 (2011).

Dr. Ronen Perry, Economic Loss, Punitive Damages, and the Exxon Valdez Litigation, 45 Ga. L. Rev. 409 (2011).

Charles B. Anderson, Marine Pollution and the "Polluter Pays" Principle: Should the Polluter Also Pay Punitive Damages?, 43 J. Mar. L. & Com. 43 (2012).

John J. Constonis, The Macondo Well Blowout: Taking the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Seriously, 42 J. Mar. L. & Com. 511 (2011).

Thomas C. Galligan, Jr., Death at Sea: A Sad Tale of Disaster, Injustice, and Unnecessary Risk, 71 La. L. Rev. 787 (2011)

Linda S. Mullenix, Prometheus Unbound: The Gulf Coast Claims Facility as a Means for Resolving Mass Tort Claims—A Fund Too Far, 71 La. L. Rev. 819 (2011).

Kenneth M. Murchison, Liability Under the Oil Pollution Act: Current Law and Needed Revisions, 71 La. L. Rev. 917 (2011).

Patrick H. Martin, The BP Spill and the Meaning of "Gross Negligence or Willful Misconduct", 71 La. L. Rev. 957 (2011).

David W. Robertson, The Oil Pollution Act's Provisions on Damages for Economic Loss, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 157 (2011).

Byron G. Stier, The Gulf Coast Claims Facility as a Quasi-Public Fund: Transparency and Independence in Claim Administrator Compensation, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 255 (2011).

John C. P. Goldberg, Liability for Encomic Loss in Connection with the Deepwater Horizon Spill, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 335 (2011).

Deborah E. Greenspan & Matthew A. Neuburger, Settle or Sue?: The Use and Structure of Alternative Compensation Programs in the Mass Claims Context, 17 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 97 (2011).

George W. Conk, Diving Into the Wreck: BP and Kenneth Feinberg's Gulf Coast Gambit, 17 Roger Williams L. Rev. 137 (2012).

Robert Force et al., Deepwater Horizon: Removal Costs, Civil Damages, Crimes, Civil Penalties, and State Remedies in Oil Spill Cases, 85 Tul. L. Rev. 889 (2011).

John W. deGravelles & J. Neal deGravelles, The Deepwater Horizon Rig Disaster: Issues of Personal Injury and Death, 85 Tul. L. Rev. 1075 (2011).

Patrick J. Bonner, Limitation of Liability: Should it be Jettisoned After Deepwater Horizon?, 85 Tul. L. Rev. 1183 (2011).

Lawrence I. Kiern, Liability, Compensation, and Financial Responsibility Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990: A Review of the Second Decade, 36 Tul. Mar. L. J. 1 (2011).

Michael L. Rustad & Thomas H. Koenig, Parens Patriae Litigation to Redress Societal Damages from the BP Oil Spill: The Last Stage in the Evolution of Crimtorts, 29 UCLA J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 45 (2011).

Dr. Ronen Perry, The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Limits of Civil Liability, 86 Wash. L. Rev. 1 (2011).

II. Articles Relating to Specific Offshore Oil Exploration & Production Regulatory Changes Needed After the BP Oil Spill

Richard Oliver Brooks, The Gulf Oil Spill: The Road Not Taken, 74 Alb. L. Rev. 489 (2010).

Michael C. Widener, Using Mediated, Consensus-Based Regulation to Reconcile Competing Public Policy Agendas in Disaster Mitigation, 74 Alb. L. Rev. 587 (2010).

Mark A. Latham, Five Thousand Feet and Below: The Failure to Adeqautely Regulate Deepwater Oil Production Technology, 38 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 343 (2011).

Hari M. Osofsky, Multidimensional Governance and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 63 Fla. L. Rev. 1077 (2011).

Rebecca M. Bratspies, A Regulatory Wake Up Call: Lessons from BP's Deepwater Horizon Disaster, 5 Golden Gate U. Envtl. L. J. 7 (2011).

Leila Monroe, Restructure and Reform: Post-BP Deepwater Horizon Proposals to Improve Oversight Offshore Oil and Gas Activities, 5 Golden Gate. U. Envtl. L. J. 61 (2011).

Kenneth M. Murchison, Beyond Compensation for Offshore Drilling Accidents: Lowering Risks, Improving Response, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 277 (2011).

Andrew Hartsig, Shortcomings and Solutions: Reforming the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Framework in the Wake of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, 16 Ocean & Coastal L. J. 269 (2011).

David Pettit & David Newman, Federal Public Law and the Future of Oil and Gas Drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, 17 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 184 (2012).

Sidney A. Shapiro, The Complexity of Regulatory Capture: Diagnosis, Causality, and Remediation, 17 Roger Williams L. Rev. U. L. Rev. 227 (2012).

III. Articles Relating to Other Environmental Law Questions Regarding the BP Oil Spill

Keith H. Hirokawa, Disasters and Ecosystems Services Deprivation: From Cuyahoga to the Deepwater Horizon, 74 Alb. L. Rev. 543 (2010).

Michael Barsa & David A. Dana, Reconceptualizing NEPA to Avoid the Next Preventable Disaster, 38 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 219 (2011).

Holly Doremus, Getting the Benefit of Outside Perspectives in Environmental Law, 38 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 247 (2011).

Robin Kundis Craig, Legal Remedies for Deep Marine Oil Spills and Long-Term Ecological Resiliance: A Match Made in Hell, 2011 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 1863 (2011).

David M. Uhlmann, After the Spill is Gone: The Gulf of Mexico, Environmental Crime, and the Criminal Law, 109 Mich. L. Rev. 1143 (2011).

Daniel A. Farber, The BP Blowout and the Social and Environmental Erosion of the Louisiana Coast, 13 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. 37 (2012).

Jamison E. Colburn, Necessarily Unpredictable? Oil Spill Risks Beyond the Horizon, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 307 (2011).

Eric. V. Hull, Crude Injustice in the Gulf: Why Categorical Exclusions for Deepwater Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are Inconsistent with U.S. and International Ocean Law and Policy, 29 UCLA J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y 1 (2011).




     Provide Website Feedback / Accessibility Statement