BP set to call expert witnesses in fight to avoid maximum penalty over Gulf oil spill

Energy Associated Press

It's oil giant BP's turn to call witnesses as it makes its case for a civil penalty lower than the $13.7 billion the federal government is seeking for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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The second week of a three-week trial is set to begin Monday in New Orleans. Last week, government experts testified about environmental, economic and social damage arising from the spill. BP attorneys disputed much of that testimony, and have argued the recovery of the environment and the Gulf economy has been strong.

Also at issue in the trial is whether a heavy penalty would put too much financial strain on BP Exploration and Production — also known as BPXP. That's the affiliate in the BP corporate group deemed responsible for the spill.