Sen. Markey: With Today’s Settlement, BP Stands for Begin Payments

Senator was leading Congressional investigator into the BP oil spill, first to post the Spillcam online of the underwater spill

Washington (July 2, 2015) – BP was responsible for the worst environmental disaster in America’s history when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in April 2010 killing eleven people and spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement today after the Department of Justice announced an agreement in principle to reach a settlement of $18.7 billion for civil claims related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This will be the largest government settlement with a single entity in U.S. history.
“Five years ago, BP stood for Bayou Polluter. Today, with this settlement, BP stands for Begin Payments. The company responsible for the worst environmental disaster in our history deserves to pay the highest settlement in our history.
“While this settlement will go far in helping the communities of the Gulf Coast who are still working to recover, there is much more to do to ensure that another tragedy like Deepwater Horizon doesn’t befoul our coasts. We have not done nearly enough to hold the oil and gas industry to the highest safety standards in the wake of this disaster. We still need to raise the maximum fines for safety violations. We need to make the liability cap for oil spills unlimited. We need to finalize improvements to the safety of dispersants and other oil spill response technologies. We need to fully implement the safety recommendations of the BP Spill Commission and pass legislation that puts on the books stronger drilling safety standards to ensure our coastal wildlife and economies are protected.  And, until Congress acts to put in place these important safeguards, I will continue to oppose the possibility of opening up the East Coast to oil and gas drilling.”