BP Seen Making Oil Spill Settlement With US
" Oil giant BP will likely agree to pay the U.S. Department of Justice between $20 billtion to $25 billion next month to settle all civil and criminal charges around the Deepwater Horizon rig blast and Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a leading industry analyst predicted on Thursday.
Martijn Rats, head of European oil research at Morgan Stanley said in a research note that he saw a 70 percent to 80 percent chance that the two sides would agree a deal sometime between BP's full year results on Feb. 7, and the scheduled start of legal hearings in New Orleans on Feb. 27. "
EPA and the Justice Department have wide latitude on who and how much they penalize. It's called "joint and several liability." They can fine BP, Transocean, whomever is found responsible. They can fine one company for the whole ride. After that, it's BP's problem to try to recover -- except that most of their potential targets have already settled with BP.
I doubt BP would settle quickly unless the cost of the settlement was more attractive than fighting it.
If they choose, they can delay things for several years in the courts. The current administration is weak and it could really use a win of some kind.
The administration might agree to a lower cost settlement in exchange for giving BP a public spanking and "bringing them to jstice."
The potential fine for the release UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT ALONE is $21 billion. The other Federal acts BP violated also have a price. If $25 billion includes the cost of the violations of state laws that BP also committed, then $25 billion would be a BARGAIN. Not to mention he legal fees they'd avoid.
....The estimated level of settlement in the Morgan Stanley note — the most detailed analysis Reuters has seen on the potential cost of the spill — is much higher than other analysts have predicted, and around double the amount BP has taken a provision for...
This is scary, double would be 40 to 50 $Billion
Do you get to deduct a parking ticket ? Fines and penalties aren't deductible. This is BP trying to avoid CRIMINAL charges, by getting ahead of the civil settlement. And both sides will know it.