Vanderbilt Law Review


Steven Shavell

First Page



In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident and the BP oil spill, the government imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The issue addressed here is whether, on grounds of policy, BP should be held responsible for moratorium- related economic losses. The answer that is developed is no. The reason, in essence, is that, although the spill caused the moratorium, the moratorium might be viewed as a socially beneficial event on net because its purpose was to avert a significant danger.

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