Residents of the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico have more in common with their part of the sea than only salt content. Affecting the well-being of Gulf residents, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest in United States history, and efforts to respond to the disaster were similar in scale. Neither the United States government nor the responsible party was prepared to mitigate the risks present in deep-sea oil exploration. The lack of preparation and size of the spill forced responders to consider and implement untested strategies.
Private actors must consider the potential liability of their actions. Government, shielded by sovereign immunity, does not need to utilize the same calculations. This Note will suggest that government should waive its sovereign immunity during oil spill response actions in light of the controversies surrounding the Macondo Well blowout. This Note argues that United States government response efforts were detrimental to the national welfare and, although a similarly situated private party would be liable for the citizens’ injuries, the United States will not be held accountable. . .