Texas To Receive $788 Million Under BP Deal
18 June 2015No Comments
Texas is set to receive another $788 million dollars following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill under a settlement between BP, the federal government, and the five Gulf Coast states. Under the agreement, BP will pay a total of $20.2 billion in damages and penalties to the federal government and Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, resolving all state claims against the company for its role in the disaster, that killed 11 people and dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. For Texas, the settlement yields about $275 million for state restoration projects, including the largest conservation land purchase in Texas history, about 17,000 acres of undisturbed coastal prairie in Calhoun County. Governor Greg Abbott stated, “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. This settlement will allow Texas to reinvest in the Gulf community and reinvigorate the economic and environmental health of the region.”
MILLIONS TO TEXAS IN BP SETTLEMENT
Under the settlement, BP will pay $5.5 billion in federal Clean Water Act fines over 15 years, of which $4.4 billion will fund Gulf-wide projects in the state’s federal RESTORE Act plans. More than $400 million will flow to Texas. BP will pay about $8.8 billion, including about $1 billion paid for “early restoration projects,” over 15 years for natural resources damages under the federal Oil Pollution Act. Some $238 million from that will directly benefit restoration in Texas. BP will pay $4.9 billion over 19 years for economic damages to the states, including $150 million for Texas. Finally, BP will pay up to $1 billion to resolve claims by more than 400 local governments across the Gulf.
BP’s group chief executive, Bob Dudley states, “This is a realistic outcome which provides clarity and certainty for all parties. For BP, this agreement will resolve the largest liabilities remaining from the tragic accident and enable BP to focus on safely delivering the energy the world needs.”
Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement, “This settlement represents an important milestone in the ongoing recovery of the Gulf Coast, and the families and businesses impacted by the spill. 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.”
Some of the Texas money will flow to two “Centers for Excellence” university consortiums. One consortium is lead by the University of Houston, which focuses on offshore energy development, including research and technology to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy sources in the Gulf of Mexico. The second consortium is lead by Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, with similar goals, including research related to sustainability, restoration and protection of the coast and deltas. The leader of this center, Larry McKinney, said several projects are already underway, thanks to money from earlier settlements. That includes an effort to create the largest Gulf of Mexico data and information system. “Obviously we’d have liked to see more funds go to restoration, but this is also good to get the numbers and know what we can do,” McKinney said. “That allows us to move forward rather than sit on our hands.”