Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor statement on BP's "Gross Negligence"

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Tampa, September 4, 2014 | comments

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor released the statement below following today’s ruling by a federal district judge in New Orleans that placed the majority of blame on BP for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster in 2010.

“It is appropriate that BP be held fully accountable for its gross negligence and economic and environmental damage caused by the 2010 disaster.  Workers lost their lives and others their livelihoods.  I personally met with small business owners, fishermen, hotel operators and tourism industry representatives who suffered tremendously from this catastrophe. 

“One of my top priorities since the disaster has been to work to return the Gulf of Mexico, its communities and related small businesses to better than they were before the blowout.  Part of the effort is implementation of the new RESTORE Act, a law that directs 80 percent of fines and penalties paid by BP to restoring the Gulf Coast. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dramatically improve the environmental and economic vitality of the Gulf of Mexico as well as related communities and businesses. Any additional fines imposed by today’s ruling, which could be up to $17.6 billion, will be appropriately directed to this restoration effort thanks to the RESTORE Act passed by Congress in 2012.”

U.S. Rep. Castor has been a staunch supporter of holding BP accountable and for the economic recovery of businesses impacted by the blow out.  Immediately following the disaster in 2010, she helped to secure $10 million from BP to fund a rapid research response by the Florida Institute of Oceanography and urged BP to provide samples of its oil that were necessary for USF research. U.S. Rep. Castor also successfully fought to have the RESTORE Act direct 80 percent of fines and penalties paid by BP for violations of the Clean Water Act to restoring the Gulf Coast.

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