U.S. PIRG Statement in Response to Finalized BP Oil Spill Settlement

Media Contacts

Final deal allows BP to claim $15.3 billion as a tax deduction


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.