$20 Billion Fund for Victims of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

A $20 billion fund for the victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico paid out $5 billion to approximately 204,000 claimants in its first year of operation.

Since the doors opened August 10, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility processed 97% of about 948,000 claims it received from persons and businesses that had suffered losses from the accident.

It may surprise you that a year after the BP oil tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico took place, there is hope that a $500 million fund will be made available to research just how the oil spills impacted the region.  The fund released by BP is being controlled by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Research Board, which is awaiting research proposals.  These scientists have been anxiously waiting for these research funds to be paid.  The fund was supposed to provide $50 million each year for the next ten years to study five specific aspects regarding oil spills.

It is great that BP is repaying claimants for their losses, but how do you compute what the costs are to the ecosystem for the loss of birds and fish?  Considering the fact that in 1989 Exxon had such a major oil spill for which the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 “OPA” was founded, and such negative press was given to that disaster, you would think the oil companies would go to any measures to be sure something like this would never repeat itself.  Our oceans will never be the same because of the oil companies’ carelessness.

Energy dependence is a greatly debated topic in today’s society. There are so many documented sites that are ready to be explored, however, given the track record of the companies charged with the responsibility of drilling and exploration, how can we allow them to drill without very strict standards, conditions and penalties for failure to comply?  The destruction of these spills wreaks havoc on our ecosystem, as well as our economic system affected by these disasters. Is this justice?

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