Monday, July 06, 2015

BP - To Pay Largest Environmental Settlement

"After a long legal fight, BP agrees to largest environmental settlement in U.S. history" PBS NewsHour 7/2/2015


SUMMARY:  In the nation’s worst oil disaster, 134 million gallons of crude gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, coating beaches and barrier islands, killing thousands of animals and decimating fisheries.  Now nearly five years later, oil giant British Petroleum is facing a record settlement of $18.7 billion.  Judy Woodruff discusses the deal with Rep. Garret Graves, R-La.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  It was the nation’s worst oil disaster and came to be known as the BP (British Petroleum) spill.  After a long and bitter fight that played out in the courts, a record settlement was finally announced today.

The oil gushed from BP’s Macondo well for 87 days.  Now, almost five years since the well was sealed, the company aims to settle with the federal government and five states, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley:

GOV. ROBERT BENTLEY (R), Alabama:  With the agreement reached today and the compensation BP will pay for their responsibility, we are taking a significant step forward in our state and in especially the Gulf Coast areas to move forward with the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  In all, 134 million gallons of crude fouled the Gulf’s waters, and coated beaches and barrier islands, killing thousands of animals, and decimating local fisheries.

The projected deal totals $18.7 billion; $5.5 billion would go toward restoration efforts, as part of a federal Clean Water Act penalty.  Another $7 billion would cover natural resource damages.  And nearly $6 billion goes to economic and other claims by the five states and 400 local government entities.

In a statement today, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch called it the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history.  For BP, the settlement will effectively add about $10 billion to the $44 billion it already set aside for cleanup costs and penalties.

The oil giant had revenues of $15 billion last year, and will spread the settlement costs over the next 15 to 18 years.  In a statement today, BP’s CEO, Bob Dudley said:  “This agreement will resolve the largest liabilities remaining from the tragic accident and enable BP to focus on safely delivering the energy the world needs.”

The agreement is still subject to final approval by a federal judge.

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