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BP has legal duties to its creditors and stockholders. Its duties to the United States are still vague and unknown. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 can be interpreted in various ways. So far, the administration hasn't tried.
The Kodiak, an Exxon tanker, lost power as it was leaving Prince William Sound. The reason it didn't end like the Exxon Valdez disaster 20 years ago is strong citizens' oversight.