Some observers have argued that the Settlement Program’s payment process will result in a wave of overcompensation to the Gulf Coast economy. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these complaints are originating from BP’s homeland – Great Britain. But, a closer look the statistics and Gulf Coast studies suggest a completely different picture.
A study conducted by regional scholars throughout the Gulf Coast, and published by the Texas A&M University Press in 2007, reveals that the Gulf of Mexico generates $234 billion in economic activity from its four biggest industries: oil, tourism, fishing and shipping. If the Gulf of Mexico was a country, it would be the 29th largest economy in the world, the study notes. The tourism industry alone is responsible for nearly $100 billion of the $234 billion. Oil and gas interests account for $124 billion, or 53 percent, of the total impact.
The oil spill affected all of these industries in a major way and for an extended period of time. The massive oil slick led to the federal moratorium on Gulf of Mexico drilling, oiled the region’s white sandy beaches throughout the tourism season and resulted in the closure of hundreds of square miles of pristine fishing waters at the height of the fishing season. Needless to say, it is no wonder the Settlement Program is paying – and will continue to pay – billions in compensation to those directly and indirectly affected by the spill’s impacts. Gulf Coast businesses and individuals are not greedy for seeking compensation from this historic disaster. Instead, BP grossly underestimated the totality of the oil spill’s impact on the region.
Source: CNN Money
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