Spot the Gas Leak

The year in Tony Rackauckas

Somebody is laughing, and it's probably BP Amoco executives and their lawyers. Said a DA source familiar with the case, "If an Orange County jury had ever heard the case against ARCO, I am positive that they would have made the company pay more than $100 million for their outrageous conduct."

Dealing with Rackauckas was a relatively pleasant experience for the oil giant that made $910 million per month in profit during 2000. The DA, who once said his case was based on the "biggest" MTBE contamination in the nation, let the polluter walk away paying less than .04 percent of its annual profit.

Rackauckas can't be bothered with such facts. He's just happy. In his settlement press release, the county's top lawman was proud to note that ARCO executives "indicated a desire to work with my office to ensure violations do not occur again so we can keep Orange County's drinking water safe today and into the future."

Don't you feel safe now?

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