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BP could nab giant tax break from $20.8 billion Deepwater settlement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This morning BP filed a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice and the five states of the Gulf Coast over its remaining Deepwater Horizon liabilities. It is still subject to a 60-day comment period and approval by a judge.

Although the text of the settlement specifically forbids the deduction of civil penalties, there is some potential for BP to claim a sizable tax deduction on much of the remaining restoration costs.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster has already allowed BP sizable tax benefits, including the $10 billion windfall it was able to secure by deducting the cost of its cleanup expenses.

Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Campaigner Lukas Ross issued the following statement in response:

BP should not be allowed to treat the costs of their disaster as the cost of doing business. We are concerned that this settlement doesn’t protect taxpayers. The Justice Department must ensure that no further tax benefits can accrue to the company responsible for perhaps the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

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Expert contact: Lukas Ross, (202) 222-0724, lross@foe.org
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

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