BP Oil Spill Settlement Allows $15.3 Billion Tax Deduction

For Immediate Release


BP Oil Spill Settlement Allows $15.3 Billion Tax Deduction

WASHINGTON - A statement by Michelle Surka, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Program Associate, regarding the recently finalized BP Gulf Oil Spill Settlement:

“Though we are glad that the protracted settlement to address BP’s actions in relation to the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill has finally concluded, and injured parties can begin to be made whole again, we are disappointed that BP will yet again be able to claim its settlement payments as ordinary cost of doing business tax deductions.

$15.3 billion of the settlement qualifies as a tax deduction, earning the oil giant a tax windfall for what amounts to gross negligence. Despite thousands of comments from ordinary Americans calling on the Department of Justice to deny these tax write offs, BP will still be able to claim the settlement as business as usual. This not only shifts the burden of the deal onto ordinary taxpayers, but it also sends the wrong message.

The Department of Justice had an opportunity to set a precedent in this case, and we are disappointed that the agency chose to instead continue subsidizing BP’s wrongdoing.”

For more information on the tax deductions corporations can claim for their settlement agreements, read U.S. PIRG’s report Settling for a Lack of Accountability.


U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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