Illustration by Muriel Gordon.

Eleven people died in vain because of BP’s Macondo well blowout on April 20 last year.

For 86 days, 4.9 million gallons of oil gushed from BP’s stores and polluted the Gulf of Mexico.

The accident slowly became the world’s largest oil spill as BP failed to get the leak under control.

Marine life was decimated, fishing economies destroyed. With assistance from the Coast Guard and volunteers, the self-proclaimed leader in sustainability hung its head and got to work.

The company’s efforts to reform safety practices and compensate affected communities are a step to “[earn] back the trust that was lost and build a sustainable BP,” according to a public letter penned by group chief executive Bob Dudley. Paying for the 2012 Olympic energy bill is a nice gesture, but may be more representative of their political prowess than anything else.

Now BP has applied for permission to resume drilling in the Gulf. While the company’s rhetoric is remorseful, the oil spill and its ghastly environmental and community impacts overshadow the sentiment.

The fact of the matter is BP has not made amends for the spill.

The federal government should not permit BP to drill oil in the Gulf because it has not earned the trust of impacted communities. It is still paying for costs related to the oil spill, cleanup and ongoing civil and criminal investigations into the incident.

Moreover, the United States needs to protect its environmental health and faltering economy. It is contradictory for the United States to allow BP to drill in light of the administration’s commitment to rigorous safety standards and punishment of those in poor compliance.

BP has claimed that it would be unable to repay the rest of the reparations without drilling in the Gulf. Some congresspeople and more oil company officials insist that getting back in the Gulf is necessary to reestablishing economic success. However, numerous companies lost a lot of money because of last year’s spill, not just BP.

It is not the responsibility of the United States to pull international corporations out of financial trouble, especially those who brought their woes upon themselves. The relationship between BP and countless Americans affected by the spill is deeply damaged beyond repair. The U.S. government should demand the rest of the reparations and disallow BP’s request for permission to drill. It is the federal government’s responsibility to protect the environmental health of the nation. Drilling oil is not a sustainable enterprise.

Energy companies should set their sights on clean energies like solar and wind power. Not on the oil below American waters.