Officials in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi (the states most touched by the BP oil spill) announced a settlement with BP endingyears of litigation over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement will amount to $18.7 billion.
After millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf, individual states pursued litigation. Most of the penalties were to be distributed amongst the states for varied purposes, including environmental restoration and economic assistance.
According to an outline filed in federal court Thursday morning, the money will resolve economic damage claims of local governments. Costs incurred by BP thus far include $14 billion for response and cleanup and $4.5 billion in penalties from a settlement of a criminal case with the government.
Earlier in the year, a federal judge in New Orleans finalized the final phase of a trial that pressed the oil company against the United States Federal Government. He came up with what would be two key rulings: first, that BP acted with "gross negligence" in the rig explosion that resulted in the spill of oil into the ocean and second, that nearly 134 million gallons spewed into the Gulf as a result of it.