Reprinted with permission from Creators.
On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and unleashed the biggest oil spill in history. Soaked in stinking goo, a million birds also perished — quadruple the toll from the infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.
For the humans killed in the Deepwater Horizon accident, BP pleaded guilty to 11 felonies and paid $4 billion. The deceased birds cost it $100 million, money that was used to restore wetlands and conserve other bird habitats.
For the latter penalty, we can thank the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which makes it illegal to kill migratory birds “by any means or in any manner” without a permit.…