HOUSTON Dec 3 The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency may have been too harsh when it banned BP Plc from
lucrative federal contracts as punishment for its 2010 Macondo
oil spill, the United Kingdom and prominent business groups said
The U.K. government, the American Petroleum Institute and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the EPA has caused regulatory
uncertainty and soured the broader investment climate by barring
the British major from acquiring new leases in the U.S. Gulf of
Mexico or entering deals to supply the U.S. military with fuels.
In briefs submitted to a U.S. court, the groups made clear
they support a lawsuit BP filed in August to challenge the ban -
which impacts new contracts but not existing ones.
"EPA's disqualification and suspension of multiple BP
entities may have been excessive," the United Kingdom's brief
A year ago the EPA sprung the suspension on BP, citing its
"lack of business integrity" after the well blowout that killed
11 workers and gushed millions of barrels of oil into coastal
waters in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.
The case is BP Exploration & Production Co et al v. McCarthy
et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, No.