Expert suspects BP has ulterior motive behind oil well cap

Cavnar believes that BP's true goal is to make it harder to measure the flow of oil from the damaged well, because under the Clean Water Act, it will be liable for civil penalties of up to $4300 for every barrel spilled.

"While they have every incentive to get the well killed, BP also has every incentive to not capture 100% of the well flow until they do," Cavnar wrote last week at Huffington Post. "As soon as they do capture all the flow, then a real, measurable number will be in front of the public, and that's the last thing BP wants, since that number will then be used to extrapolate environmental damage, hence per barrel fines that will likely run to the tens of billions anyway."

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