Congressman Garret Graves Announces Global Settlement Agreement in BP Oil Spill
Baton Rouge, LA – The five Gulf States, local governments and federal agencies reached a global “agreement in principle” for nearly $19 billion to address outstanding claims against BP associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill. Total restoration and recovery funds associated with Louisiana’s natural resources, loss of taxes, and associated civil fines are estimated to reach $10 billion (including previously announced settlements).*
“Louisiana’s Gulf is one of the largest energy producing areas in the nation and one of the most productive commercial fishing areas in the country. We literally power this nation’s economy and put food on America’s table. There could not have been a worse place to have a record-setting oil spill,” said Graves. “With today’s settlement agreement, we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of this five-year disaster.”
The April 20, 2010 oil spill resulted in up to five million barrels of oil being released into the Gulf of Mexico for months. Additional oil releases and oil mats resulting from the Macondo well were reported in subsequent years (as recent as March 2015 in Louisiana).
“It is far time that we put this disaster behind us and start the recovery process. I commend the Department of Justice and the State of Louisiana for sticking to their guns here. Our economy, our culture and our future are all tied to the health of the Gulf. There is no room for compromise,” added Graves. “The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster was one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation’s history. It resulted in the loss of 11 lives and has caused significant damages to our state. It is only fitting that the largest settlement in U.S. history result from this disaster. Now, it is time to move on.”
Graves urged compressed payment terms saying, “We had to wait months to stop the unconstrained flow of oil, three years to begin picking up oil mats, five years for a settlement agreement and now a 15-year payment term. I strongly urge BP to expedite payments. Let’s put this behind us.”
Payments to the State of Louisiana are estimated to top $500 million a year over a 15-year period – largely committed to the state’s coastal master plan.
Prior to being elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in December of 2014, Graves served as Louisiana’s lead trustee representing the state before BP, the Natural Resources Damage Assessment Council and the RESTORE Council from 2010-2014. He played a key role in negotiations during that time and continued to play an advisory role in the judicial and settlement processes.
This agreement only affects public claims, fines and penalties resulting from damages to natural resources, violations of various federal and state laws. It also includes economic damages affecting numerous towns, cities, counties and parishes across the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s announcement does not affect any private or individual claims against BP or other parties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The agreement includes the following payments by BP:
$5.5 Billion for Clean Water Act civil penalties (RESTORE Act applies to these funds)
Louisiana is expected to receive approximately $800 million in addition to a portion of funds to be allocated by the RESTORE Council
$8.1 Billion for Natural Resource Damages (includes $1 billion in previously-negotiated “early restoration”)
Texas: $238 Million
Louisiana: $5 Billion
Mississippi: $295 Million
Alabama: $295 Million
Florida: $680 Million
Gulf Regionwide Projects: $350 Million
Open Ocean Projects: $1.24 Billion
$4.9 Billion in Economic Claims
Texas: $150 Million
Louisiana: $1 Billion
Mississippi: $750 Million
Alabama: $1 Billion
Florida: $2 Billion
$1 Billion for local government economic claims in the five Gulf States
$350 Million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment Costs
$250 Million in other Federal Claims
The payments will be made over a 15-year period and additional interest payments are due in the 16th year.
Negotiators will take the next few months to translate the agreement into a consent decree to be submitted to the court.
*Previous settlement agreements related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster include:
April 21, 2011, an unprecedented $1 billion early restoration agreement was announced that resulted in BP funding numerous restoration projects across the Gulf of Mexico.
February 17, 2012, MOEX agreed to a $90 million settlement to address some of the company’s civil liabilities.
November 14, 2012, a $4.5 billion criminal settlement was reached with BP.
January 3, 2013, a $1.4 billion criminal and civil fine settlement was reached with Transocean, the well operator.