GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) If a federal judge rules in favor of a recent motion by BP’s lawyers, it could mean millions and possibly billions of dollars less in Clean Water Act oil spill fines coming to the Gulf Coast through the Restore Act.
“It’s not fair to us,” Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft told Local 15. “We need to be taking these monies and moving forward.”
In Friday’s filing, BP claimed the federal government overestimated the size of the oil spill. The company also contended they should not be fined for 34 million gallons of crude they allegedly captured before it spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
“They’re trying to say there was less oil that came out of the well than was originally estimated to lower the amount of fines and penalties they have to pay,” Craft said.
Craft said he fully expected BP’s lawyers to keep the legal battle alive, but said there’s growing frustration with how long it’s taking for fines to be finalized and money delivered to the Gulf Coast.
“It’s real frustrating especially with us everyday still having to clean up oil on our beach,” Craft said.
Craft thinks BP will settle rather than go to trial, but it’s “anybody’s guess” as to if and when that settlement happens.