Click above to hear NPR’s Debbie Elliott report on the settlement.
Officials in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have announced an $18.7 billion settlement with BP that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
“The BP/ Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in United States history, and the impact to the Alabama Gulf Coast was detrimental” says Governor Robert Bentley. “We have reached an agreement in principle with BP to compensate the State for all of the environmental and economic damages suffered as a result of the oil spill. With the agreement announced today, we are taking a significant step forward in our State and will become a stronger, safer and more resilient state as a result of this terrible disaster.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says Alabama’s share is more than $2.0 Billion.
“On the economic side, $1 billion will be paid to the State over the next 18 years for economic damages suffered. On the environment side, Alabama will receive approximately $1.3 billion over the next 15 years that will be used to facilitate coastal restoration projects in Alabama,” the Governor’s office said in a release Thursday morning.
The settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BO owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties after more than 125 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange called the settlement “A major victory for the people of Alabama who will benefit for years to come.”
BP has said its spill-related costs already exceed $42 billion – even without hte Clean Water Act fine. It’s also unclear how much BP will end up paying under a 2012 settlement with individuals and businesses claiming spill-related losses. The spill resulted from the April 20, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which killed 11 workers.