BP Agrees to Pay $1 Billion for Start of Gulf Restoration
Good read. Note that BP is volunteering the money in addition to recent settlement and the $20 billion Obama coerced after the explosion.
“The agreement, the largest of its kind in an oil pollution case, does not absolve BP of legal liability for the explosion and spill that occurred April 20, 2010, or from the costs of any additional economic and environmental damages. The company faces fines and penalties of as much as $21 billion as a result of the disaster, the worst offshore drilling accident in United States history. The company could face additional penalties under a Justice Department criminal and civil investigation.
The advance payment, to be divided among the states and the two lead federal agencies overseeing restoration efforts, will be used to rebuild coastal marshes, replenish damaged beaches, conserve ocean habitat and restore barrier islands.
The $1 billion does not represent the governments’ estimate of the ultimate environmental cost of the explosion and spill, which poured nearly five million barrels of oil into the gulf over 87 days last year. Federal and state officials are conducting a review known as a natural resource damage assessment to measure the injury to the gulf habitat and devise a plan for restoring it, a process that generally takes years. Any restoration efforts financed by the $1 billion will count toward the company’s final liability, officials said.
As the leaseholder on the well and the party responsible for the spill, BP is responsible for the entire cost, although this week it filed suit against its drilling partners, Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron International, blaming them for the accident and seeking to recover tens of billions of dollars in compensation.
The agreement announced Thursday allows the complex work of environmental restoration to proceed more quickly and ends some of the squabbling over financing among states and the federal government.”