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Big Dollars for Big Oozy

BP Agrees to 18.7 Billion Dollar Settlement for Deepwater Horizon

The protracted Big Oozy saga is one step closer to a legal resolution. On Thursday (7.02), the Justice Department announced that BP will pay 18.7 billion dollars to settle civil claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster including over 6.8 billion dollars to Louisiana.


The settlement involving five states is both the largest environmental settlement and the largest Clean Water Act fine in history. Combined with previous agreements, the Boot’s share will top ten billion dollars.


In a statement, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said, “"Today's settlement is a game changer for Louisiana and its families.” He continued, "Nothing can bring back the lives those 11 lives lost tragically April 20, 2010, but with new technology and innovation, perhaps we can prevent any further loss of life and protect our planet while we're at it.”


The deal still must be approved by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, but legal eagles do not foresee hurdles on that front. After approval, BP will begin payments of one billion annually for 18 years.


“If approved by the court, this settlement would be the largest settlement with a single entity in American history,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. “It would help repair the damage done to the Gulf economy, fisheries, wetlands and wildlife. And it would bring lasting benefits to the Gulf region for generations to come.”


The energy giant’s stock soared in morning trading. Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive said the arrangement is “a realistic outcome which provides clarity and certainty for all parties” in a statement. The oil chief added that the funds will provide “a significant income stream over many years for further restoration of natural resources and for losses related to the spill.” 


Five years ago, the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer failed causing a massive explosion that killed 11 crewmembers. For the following 87 days, the company struggled to plug the leak as the well spilled over 3.19 million barrels of oil into the gulf. It was the largest oil spill in American waters.


A criminal case involving “gross negligence” is still winding its way through Barbier’s courtroom.

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