BP is anticipated to pay the largest settlement from a single entity ($18.7 billion) in American history for its April 20, 2010 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Of that staggering amount, numerous states and surrounding local governments are being compensated for damage claims, including Texas.
Texas will receive $788 million, according to a recent report from the Associated Press. Other states due compensation from BP include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition, 400 local government entities are expecting payment for damage claims.
The Thursday announcement on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice was the result the blowout of BP’s Macondo well. The explosion killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Associated Press, Texas claimed in its lawsuit that the spill cost the state tax revenue, reduced revenues at state parks and injured, destroyed or contaminated coastal habitats and a variety of wildlife. Gov. Greg Abbott says the settlement will allow Texas and the rest of the Gulf Coast to “reinvigorate the economic and environmental health of the region.” Officials with two centers in Texas that are conducting research on the Gulf Coast region in the wake of the oil spill said the settlement money would help with their work.
Over $688 million is expected to be used for restoration projects, Attorney General Ken Paxton said. The remaining $150 million would compensate the state for economic damages.