May 6th, 2010
08:36 AM ET
8 years ago

Oil spill costs: What will BP really pay?


A huge device intended to cap part of the seeping oil well left port Wednesday in the Gulf Coast region. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

New York ( - The Gulf oil spill is going to cost billions to clean up, a tab BP has publicly pledged to pay in full.

But thanks to the unpredictable nature of the oil slick and the legal maze surrounding maritime law, what BP will pay and to whom is very much an open question.

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Filed under: Energy
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    BP will pay only what they absolutely have to and then will try to lowball that amount. This entire ting is in the hands of lawyers and accountants, neither profession is peopled by those who have consciences.

    May 6, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  2. art in kingwood

    BP will probably profit from this since Barry Obama is the receiver of the largest donation from BP in 20 years.

    May 6, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. Jan

    I haven't heard anyone yelling "Drill, baby drill" in the last could of weeks. In the face of a potentially unprecedented industrial disaster where is Sarah Palin now?

    May 6, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    My question is what does BP think is "in full" for this major spill? Were there any part of this spill or related problems that they don't consider their problem or part of the spill?

    May 6, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. jim

    In the long run – nothing. They will pass the cost on to the consumer and/or the tax payer will pay for the rest

    Would anyone expect anything different from the wonderful country we live in? PB is a company and should be free to do whatever they want. After all, don't we all want to live in a country where we have open free markets, less government involvement in companies, and the such? The freedom that "The Road to Serfdom" talks about comes with a price. Banks and oil should be free!!! Unfortunately when free companies fail and cause disasters to the well being of the nation, the Road to Serfdom is put aside, and we pay for the price of company freedom, usually with despair to the many. When all is finally better, then "The Road to Serfdom" is turned back on and the companies run free – banks, oil, auto industry, etc – WE ARE FREE – DON'T TREAD ON US!!

    Isn't free capitalism wonderful? I hear people complain about Obama & socialism. If socialism is worst than free capitalism, then God help us all. Because the free capitalism that we have now, is killing us.

    May 6, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Sniffit

    the answer:

    (actual cost)/3 – (tax payer bailout as prescribed by everyone BPhas bribed over the years)

    May 6, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    BP will follow Exxon's game plan by litigating the payment to victims in court for decades.

    May 6, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. kf

    My words to BP- PAY BABY PAY. You caused this spill, you receive profits and profits also have to pay for damage. Why should the American people pay for your greed. Had you installed the rig properly this wouldn't have happened. Again, Halliburton is in the shadows.

    May 6, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. wayne

    Not nearly enough.

    May 6, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Capitalism (the one we seem to have now – the self serving ONLY, yeah me screw you kind) dictates that BP find as many ways as possible to shift the blame and cost of as many of their obligation to the disaster they are responsible for to as many people as possible to keep their profits as high as possible.

    May 6, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  11. Tim from Tampa

    Sue them into submission. Every state.. Every person whose life and/or business was or will be affected in any way needs to file claims. Keep them in court while boycotting all their products.

    May 6, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Anonymous

    They will pay for all the problems they have caused or we should put them out of business, and take their assests to pay for their problem.

    May 6, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oil spill costs: What will BP really pay?


    Don't you read the REAL news? Haven't you heard that they are barking up a storm about possibly paying beyond the measly, and no where near sufficient $75million? Who in their Right mind would think that $75million could even BEGIN to cover the expense and loss of wildlife/sea life and income? Nobody that's who, but their oil buddies were in charge back when this deal was cut,and even though we had the Exxon Valdez spill as a reference point vis-a-vis realistic cost the GOP decided to pull ANOTHER fast one and help out their wealthy friends at the expense of – drum roll please – the citizens of the United States.

    And yet we keep voting these idiots in over and over again. We deserve the crap we get. No one should pity us.

    May 6, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Me! In Houston, Texas

    First of all, they are going to pay for all of it....ALL OF IT! The Demcratic Congress in power SHOULD make sure of that.
    Second of all, BP had no intention of paying for all of it. They think they can get away with this paying a little bit more than the 75 million that they are required to pay.
    Finally, Did anybody expect this oil company to actually do the right thing? I didn't.
    I'll bet BP misses the Bush Administration right about now

    May 6, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    It doesn't matter what BP pays or what the federal Government pays all of those costs will be passed down onto an already over burden taxpayer or gas user in higher prices and higher taxes.
    No matter what the taxpayer who has NO representation in this process will be left paying for this.

    May 6, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Brac

    I thought that the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 provided that the responsible party (and I use that term lightly0 must pay for the entire cleanup and is responsible for $75 million above that , unless they are grossly negligent, in which case the "cap" on liability does not apply. Why would there ever be a cap on liability to third parties unless it was just another Washington "corporate welfare" handout. Its no different than putting a cap on what an airline would have to pay in damages if one their planes tragically went down in a populated area.

    May 6, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. diridi

    may be 10 cents...??/ Charge them that they would not is the time to pass the natural gas laws. and climate change to have the nation energy independent...period...just pass the climate ligislation...along with finanical reform....then talk...I know GOP thugs hurdle further...ok, just ignore...these SOBs...

    May 6, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. Dean

    I'm sure they will drag it out like Exxon did for twenty plus years

    May 6, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Gale

    Let the crooks, the scammers, and crooked politicians start their motors.

    May 6, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Duck Fallas

    That thing looks like a really cool fort.

    May 6, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |

    They will pay only what OBAMA gives them of our tax dollars to pay. Hurray for the liar in the Oval Office.

    May 6, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. al in memphis

    Don't be stunned when in the end BP pays the minimum amount the law requires. It just like when someone hits your car, then only have to give you what they estimate it is worth. Problem is, you can't go out and replace that same vehicle with what the insurance company gives you. AND you are two small to do anything about it. Same thing here.

    How many of you were stunned to find out that GE paid nothing in taxes? Same here.

    May 6, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Kennie

    I think that BP will pay for this partially; however, the U.S. taxpayers will be the ones to suffer the most monetarily.

    May 6, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. teena

    Drill Baby Drill! Spill Baby Spill! Litigate Litigate Litigate until a more favorable congress is elected!
    Destroy the beaches and then laugh all the way to the bank to deposit the big dividend check!

    May 6, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. A Deep Bench .... the 6th Man

    BP made $4B in profits in the past THREE MONTHS. That's ALMOST $20 B ...B .... BILLION .... with a "B" in one year.

    I really don't care if they have to loose a couple of years worth of profit to address this liability to America.... that's capitalism. When you are successful ... you prosper ... when you FAIL ... you are not!

    Any politician, republican or democrat that tries to finnagle a way for BP to get off the hook should be shot.

    May 6, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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