A bipartisan group of senators floated legislation Thursday that would funnel billions of dollars in fines from last year’s oil spill to Gulf Coast states.
The legislation mandates that 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties eventually imposed on BP or other companies deemed responsible for the spill go to five Gulf states. Under current law, penalty money goes to the federal Treasury. ...
In total, 35 percent of the penalty money is evenly split among the five Gulf coast states under the legislation. Thirty percent goes to a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and another 30 percent is divvied up among states based on those most heavily affected by the spill. The remaining 5 percent will be allocated equally for Gulf science and fisheries programs.
BP and the other companies deemed responsible for the spill face billions of dollars in penalties. If BP is deemed negligent under the Clean Water Act by the courts, the company will have to pay $1,000 for every barrel of oil spilled into the Gulf. If the courts find that BP was grossly negligent, the company will have to pay $4,200 per barrel.
Last year's spill spewed about 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf, meaning BP could have to fork over between $5.4 billion and $21.1 billion.