JACKSON, MISS– The state of Mississippi is expected to receive $150 million from BP on Friday, representing the oil company’s first payment for economic damages resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.
This payment follows a settlement between five Gulf Coast states, the federal government, and BP which amounted to $20 billion dollars. Mississippi is set to receive $2.2 billion in compensation from BP. This is the largest environmental settlement in history.
Attorney General Hood credited his staff and state agency employees for their 6 year-long effort to make sure Mississippi held BP accountable for the spill and received appropriate compensation for economic recovery and coastal restoration.
Attorney General Hood reminded the Legislature that, despite a significant budget deficit, the $150 million in recoveries from BP should be directed for projects on the Coast. This initial payment is part of $750 million specified for damages to the economy following the spill. That $750 million will be received in payments over the next 17 years.
Despite the success of the settlement, Attorney General Jim Hood said in a statement that he is concerned that the money will not be used appropriately.
“After years of litigation and work to identify the economic damage caused by this catastrophe, we reached an agreement that would help to make our coastal communities whole again,” Attorney General Hood said. “However, I am deeply concerned that the state’s legislative leaders may use this payment to try to cover up their self-created budget hole.”
Attorney General Hood noted that the Legislature has already earmarked approximately $46 million from the $150 million disbursement. Legislative leaders would do a disservice to their coastal constituents if they use that money to fund anything other than areas impacted by the spill, he said.
“Those who created this budget emergency by providing self-serving tax cuts to big business should not use this money to cover up their mess at the expense of our neighbors on the Coast,” Attorney General Hood said.