Four years after oil spill, BP refusing funds for research

BY Anya van Wagtendonk  April 21, 2014 at 6:42 PM EST
A ship floats amongst a sea of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oilspill disaster. Photo by Flickr user kris krüg

A ship floats amongst a sea of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oilspill disaster. Photo by Flickr user kris krüg

Four years since the largest offshore oil spill in American history, British Petroleum is largely discontinuing funds for determining the extent of the damage.

On April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and spilling 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the company has paid more than $1 billion into the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, a multiagency governmental research program intended to determine the extent of BP’s legal obligation.

Recently, however, BP has expressed concerns over the lack of transparency in the research process they are financing, and now is refusing to pay the Financial Times reports that it has refused to pay $148m toward additional research, including research for the recovery of the coastal wetlands.

The revelations came just after the National Wildlife Federation released a report linking the spill to high rates of death and disease among local dolphin and sea turtle population, a report BP called “political advocacy – not science”