David Yates Jul. 2, 2015, 11:02am


Five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP and five Gulf Coast states reached an agreement in principle on July 2, consenting to a settlement worth $20.2 billion in damages and penalties.

According to a press release, Texas will receive more than $750 million.

“After five years, I’m proud to announce that Texas, along with the other Gulf Sstates, has reached an agreement in principle with BP to resolve all the states’ claims,” said Gov. Greg Abbott in a written statement. 

“This settlement will allow Texas to reinvest in the Gulf community and reinvigorate the economic and environmental health of the region.”

The states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, along with the U.S. federal government, were also part of the agreement. 

A total of $4.9 billion in economic damages will go to the Gulf states. Some of that money will be part of Texas’ Gulf Restoration plan.

Leaders with Texas’ RESTORE Centers of Excellence plan to use millions of dollars in spill-related Clean Water Act funding on research and science activities aimed at benefiting Texas and restoring the health of the Gulf.

Texas OneGulf, led by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, was one of the first designated RESTORE Centers of Excellence in the nation to receive an award from the U.S. Treasury. 

“The settlement announced today offers an opportunity to help monitor the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico and to bring our expertise to restoration efforts,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.   

“Our Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies was selected as a Center of Excellence under the RESTORE Act because of our highly qualified scientists and our geographic location. We are ready to contribute to ensuring the long-term health of the Gulf through our research.”

According to a press release, the establishment of the centers is part of Texas’ ongoing implementation of the federal RESTORE Act, which requires that the five Gulf states affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill establish centers to conduct research into environmental, health, economic and energy issues in the Gulf.

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