U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), on Thursday, called on the Administration to continue its efforts to levy civil penalties in connection with the 2010 BP explosion and oil spill. Earlier in the day, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it had reached a settlement with BP regarding the criminal penalties for which BP is liable.
"Today's announcement resolves the criminal part of BP's responsibility," said Wicker. "There is still a considerable amount of restitution to be made by BP. How these fines will be distributed is going to be a bit complicated, but clearly it will benefit our state and the entire Gulf Coast region.
"We now look forward to the maximum civil penalties being assessed. Those additional fines should be distributed pursuant to the RESTORE Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by the President. They go a long way to making us economically whole following this oil spill."
Wicker, and other Gulf Coast lawmakers, worked to enact the the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies (RESTORE) Act. The law directs 80 percent of the funds from the civil fines under the Clean Water Act to the states for environmental and economic restoration.