BP could soon squirm its way to a sweet settlement deal this week for
the Gulf oil disaster—a move that would allow the company’s pockets to
continue to expand on the heels of their record profits, while leaving
more uncertainty for restoring the Gulf of Mexico to an environmentally
and economically healthy state.
News reports indicate that BP may be close to reaching a settlement
for its part in the Gulf oil disaster. The proposed settlement allegedly
requires BP to pay a mere 3 percent of the full amount of Clean Water
Act (CWA) penalties it could be fined under the law. Reports suggest the
agreement would require BP to pay only $142 per barrel of oil spilled
into the Gulf, although CWA allows up to $4,300 per barrel to be
assessed against a liable party. BP has reportedly set aside $3.5
billion in preparation for paying CWA fines, but this settlement deal
would be significantly less.