BP should be on the hook for an additional $25bn to restore environmental damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, even if the company is hit with a record-breaking $17.6bn in fines
at a civil trial next week, campaign groups said on Thursday.
BP will face the largest environmental fines in US history in a civil trial in New Orleans next week. The proceedings, which are expected to last until the fall, will apportion blame for the 2010 disaster between the oil company and its partners on the blown-out well, and assess fines based on how much crude oil actually flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.
John Kostyack, vice-president of wildlife conservation for the National Wildlife Federation, said BP should be held accountable for additional damage to the coast and waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
"If you look at about $25bn, that at least gets you in the right scale of payments," adding that he had based his calculations on the environmental damage assessments that followed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska
and then scaled up, in terms of barrels of oil spilled and inflation, to apply his findings to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.
Courtney Taylor of the Environmental Defence Fund also called on the judge to impose the maximum fine on BP. "Any trial or resolution of this case needs to be at the high end," she said.