I Was an Oil Spill Scapegoat
Wall Street Journal
This op-ed originally appeared in the November 9th, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Jorunal
At 6:30 a.m. on April 24, 2012, federal agents, wearing Kevlar vests and with guns drawn, raided my home in Katy, Texas, with a warrant for my arrest. This was as shocking to me as it would be for any normal, law-abiding citizen.
I’m not a drug dealer, violent criminal or money launderer. I’m an engineer. In 2010 I helped stop the BP oil spill after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig left a damaged well spilling crude directly into the Gulf of Mexico.
On the morning of the raid I left early for work, so I was not at home when it occurred. My wife was alone and had to deal with the shock of a squad of FBI agents ripping through our home. We’ve seen it a hundred times on “Law and Order.” They raced through our house and badgered and interrogated my wife.
Later that morning, after a frantic call from my wife, I drove to a local police station to surrender. As bad as that day was, I had no idea what was about to happen. I didn’t realize I had become a central focus of the Justice Department’s investigation into the BP oil spill. For the next three and a half years, a Justice task force was dedicated to putting me in jail.
What had I done to merit this? I had worked as hard as I knew how for nearly 90 straight days to help stop the Deepwater Horizon spill. Plugging the well, as fast as possible, was the focus of my life...
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