(GULF SHORES, Ala.) A civil trial designed to assign blame against oil giant BP has started in New Orleans. The Federal Government and a few Gulf Coast states including Alabama local leaders are keeping tabs on the trial to find out how it will affect them.
In the end it's all about the money BP will pay in fines. Florida and Louisiana are pushing for one fund that will better serve environmental restoration. Alabama wants local control of the money dollars for not only for the environment but for infrastructure and tourism.
Money is the issue but to get to a figure local officials say bp has to answer to it's negligence.
"Their negligence is related to their actions that caused this event. It killed 11 people and created this catastrophe in the Gulf that's the problem what they've done afterwards it should have been expected," said Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft.
"The trial is somewhat amazing to me. That BP would want to got there. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars with these commercials telling everybody how great they are and now people are fixing to see who the real British Petroleum is," said Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon.
Looking forward both the mayors of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores say the money to Alabama's coast would come quicker if bp where to settle.
"The problem I see with the trail is the time frame to get through a trail and then any judgement that's rendered and the probability of an appeal. It could be years before we see any recovery opportunity," said Craft.
"What bothers me the most is the Justice Department buddying up with BP and dividing the money in such a way that bp get a tax break on their fines. It will minimize the money to the Gulf Coast. thats despicable but I'm concerned that's going to happen," said Kennon.
State Attorney General Luther Strange is in New Orleans and was among those who made an opening statement Monday. You can read his full statement by clicking here