BP, US reach history-making settlement in oil spill case - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

BP, US reach history-making settlement in oil spill case

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

BP and the US government have reached a record settlement over criminal charges stemming from the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's a lot of money, $4.5 billion in total.  Plus, BP has pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the deaths of 11 oil rig workers and lying to Congress.

Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement in Louisiana Thursday afternoon.  This comes two and a half years after the Deepwater Horizon Spill that sent more than 100 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf.

That includes $1.3 billion in criminal fines, the biggest criminal penalty in US history.  The remainder of the money will go to a collection of government and non-governmental agencies.

Plus, two rig supervisors have each been indicted for 11 counts on manslaughter while a former executive has been indicted with lying to congress.

Holder offered some additional details:

"... Under the terms of the agreement we announce today, about $2.4 billion of the criminal recovery funds will be dedicated to environmental restoration, preservation, and conservation efforts throughout this region, including barrier-island creation and river diversion projects right here in Louisiana."

For its part, BP says:

"We believe this resolution is in the best interest of BP and its shareholders"

The federal judge overseeing this case must still approve the settlement.  It would not protect BP from billions in civil penalties and claims alleging harm from the spill.

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