Congressman Steve Scalise today released the following statement after the Department of Justice announced that it had reached a criminal settlement agreement with BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
"For more than two and a half years, people in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast have been dealing with the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and today's announcement is a major step forward as we continue working to recover from the catastrophe," Scalise said. "The Deepwater Horizon disaster left 11 men dead and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf's waters and our fragile coastal wetlands. The Department of Justice must hold BP fully accountable as they continue negotiating civil penalties that will be divided among the Gulf Coast States under the RESTORE Act, and this admission of criminal guilt by BP should make it clear that Clean Water Act civil fines served against them should be the highest allowed by law.
"The value and fragility of Louisiana's coast cannot be underestimated. Because of the RESTORE Act, the lion's share of BP Clean Water Act fines will be dedicated to the Gulf Coast states once a civil settlement is reached, and it's incumbent upon the DOJ to ensure that any civil settlement reached matches the high level of damaged sustained by our coastal marshes and wetlands."