With $4.2B in Quarterly Profit, BP Agrees to Fund $340M in Louisiana Restoration
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced today that BP had approved release of $340 million in restoration funding for coastal Louisiana. The funding will support restoration of four barrier islands and the construction of two “Fish Stock Research and Enhancement Centers.” The money comes just more than three years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
The money has been slow in arriving. It took BP more than a year to simply agree to $1 billion as a “down payment” toward restoration, but until today’s announcement, BP had only approved some $70 million in project funding.
In a statement, Governor Jindal said, “We have been very frustrated by the slow pace of progress in committing these funds to restoration needs in the Gulf. Today, we are excited to announce a big, and overdue, step forward in the restoration of Louisiana’s Gulf. We must aggressively move forward on these and other important restoration projects to ensure future generations have the same great opportunities we have been able to experience growing up on the coast. This announcement today makes a great stride forward, but this marathon is far from over. We are going to hold BP accountable for all of the damages they have caused to our coast, our fishermen, our small businesses and our families.”
According to the Governor, BP is funding the establishment of research facilities in Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish and Point a la Hache in Plaquemines Parish. The center in Lake Charles will be focused on red fish, speckled trout and flounder fisheries. The second center in Point a la Hache will focus on baitfish such as shrimp, cocahoe and croaker. However, funding for baseline monitoring remains hard to come by.
Perhaps not coincidentally, BP also released financials for the first quarter of 2013 today, showing $4.2 billion in profits. The profits were 10% lower than last year but still beat forecasters’ expectations.
UPDATE 5/1: It looks like Alabama is getting $100 million or so in this preliminary round of BP approvals. According to AL.com, “The bulk of that money — $85.5 million – will go to improvements at Gulf State Park, including construction of a hotel and conference center on the beach.”
UPDATE 5/2: Florida announced that BP has approved another $58 million for restoration projects. It had received only $11.4 million up until now. And Mississippi announced that BP has agreed to another $69 million for restoration, bringing their running total to $82.6 million.
UPDATE 5/3: And it’s $18 million for Texas.