United States District Court Judge Carl Barbier yesterday ruled that BP was “grossly negligent” in its actions leading to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
This ruling means that BP faces penalties of up to $4,300 per barrel of oil spilled, maximizing the money that will be returned to Gulf Coast states through the RESTORE Act authored by U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee.
“Judge Barbier’s decision is an important step toward maximizing the fine that BP will pay for every barrel of oil it spilled. Thanks to the RESTORE Act that Senator Richard Shelby and I passed, 80 percent of that money will go back to Gulf Coast states for coastal restoration,” Sen. Landrieu said. “For years, we had the will and the science to restore the Gulf Coast, but we didn’t have the money. The RESTORE Act gives us a jump start on our coastal restoration efforts. I hope that BP will step up and take responsibility, rather than drag this case through the courts for years to come.”
The RESTORE Act, which Sen. Landrieu crafted with Senator Richard Shelby, R-Ala., will direct billions back to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast for environmental and economic restoration from the BP Oil Spill. Already, the law has netted $800 million from Transocean’s settlement that will soon be distributed to the five Gulf Coast states.
BP will pay anywhere from an estimated $10 – $17.6 billion under the Clean Water Act once the civil trial concludes. Louisiana’s 20 coastal parishes will receive anywhere from $168 million to $295 million from the settlement.