Energy & Environment

Energy company will pay $43 million for US’ longest-running oil spill

Associated Press/Gerald Herbert

Taylor Energy, the company behind the United State’s longest-running oil spill, has agreed to pay more than $43 million in removal costs, civil penalties and natural resource damages since its pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico began leaking in 2004.

Taylor Energy would also be transferring a $432 million trust fund to the Department of Interior, according to a proposed consent decree announced by the Department of Justice on Wednesday.

Additionally, the Louisiana gas and oil company is required under the settlement to dismiss three existing lawsuits it filed against the government. As a part of the settlement, Taylor Energy does not “admit any liability to the United States or the State arising out of the MC-20 Incident.”

The proposed consent decree is subject a court’s review and approval. 

The settlement comes more than a year after the United States sued the gas and oil company for a historic oil spill that has dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill, which continues to this day, was a result of a production platform that was crushed during Hurricane Ivan.

Nicole LeBoeuf, the director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service, said in a statement that the “settlement represents an important down payment.”

“Despite being a catalyst for beneficial environmental technological innovation, the damage to our ecosystem caused by this 17-year-old oil spill is unacceptable,” U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans for the Eastern District of Louisiana added in a statement.

“The federal government will hold accountable businesses that violate our Nation’s environmental laws and ensure that any oil and gas company operating within our District meets their professional and legal responsibilities,” he added. 

The Hill could not immediately reach Taylor Energy for comment.

Tags Gulf of Mexico oil spill Taylor Energy
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