Billions of dollars in Clean Water Act penalties at issue in trial over BP's 2010 oil spill

EnergyAssociated Press

A federal trial beginning in New Orleans is aimed at determining how much money BP should pay in Clean Water Act penalties as a result of the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.

Government lawyers at the trial opening Tuesday will be arguing for maximum penalties that could reached: $13.7 billion. BP is expected to argue for a much lower penalty. The oil giant points to some $42 billion in costs it already has incurred, including a $14 billion response and cleanup effort, plus environmental mitigation costs, criminal penalties and settlements with businesses affected by the spill.

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U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier (BAHR'-bih-aye) is presiding over the case. The trial is expected to take three weeks and a ruling isn't expected for months.