Texas will receive more than $780 million from BP as part of a $20.2 billion settlement agreement with Gulf states in connection with the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill. The settlement agreement follows a federal judge ruling that found BP at fault for gross negligence in the spill, which released nearly 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
“After five years, I’m proud to announce that Texas, along with the other Gulf States, has reached an agreement in principle with BP to resolve all the states’ claims,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “This settlement will allow Texas to reinvest in the Gulf community and reinvigorate the economic and environmental health of the region.”
As attorney general for Texas in 2010, Abbott was involved in this case from the very beginning.
Current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton represented the state during the final portion of the dispute. “This settlement represents an important milestone in the ongoing recovery of the Gulf Coast, and the families and businesses impacted by the spill,” Paxton said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “By funding much-needed restoration projects along the coast, I’m hopeful this will help bring some measure of closure to people who, even today, are still dealing with the ramifications of this awful accident.”
BP will pay $5.5 billion to the federal government under Clean Water Act (CWA) civil penalties, according to the AG’s press release. $4.9 billion will be spread out between the five Gulf states effected by the spill. Up to $1 billion will be distributed to local governments for economic damages.
“An estimate well over $400 million from the CWA penalties will be made available for restoration projects in Texas pursuant to the RESTORE Act,” Paxton said in his statement. “In addition, $238 million of the $8.8 billion in NRD is allocated for restoration projects in Texas. Texas is also allocated $150 million in economic damages.”
The fund are expected to be paid out over a nearly twenty-year period. Beginning in January, 2017, BP will begin payments for the CWA penalties. Those payments will continue for fifteen years. The economic damage payments will be paid over nineteen years.
Paxton said this agreement completes a series of prior settlements and plea agreements with other parties involved in the ecological disaster. Those include Texas’s settlement with MOEX, Transocean’s settlement of its CWA penalties with the United States, and federal criminal plea agreements entered by BP and Transocean. These additional settlements will bring in an additional $275 million for Texas restoration projects.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.