WATCH: Gov. Bentley, AG Strange announce multi-billion dollar se - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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WATCH: Gov. Bentley, AG Strange announce multi-billion dollar settlement in BP oil spill

Governor Robert Bentley, with Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy, signs agreement in principle to settle its lawsuit with BP for damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. From July 1, 2015. (Gove Governor Robert Bentley, with Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy, signs agreement in principle to settle its lawsuit with BP for damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. From July 1, 2015. (Gove

MONTGOMERY, AL (WTVM) – In a Thursday morning press conference from Montgomery, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange announced that BP has agreed to pay the State of Alabama $1 billion in economic damages and approximately $1 billion in natural resource damages and federal penalty monies to resolve the State’s claims arising from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

“The BP/ Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the worst environmental disaster in United States history, and the impact to the Alabama Gulf Coast was detrimental” Governor Robert Bentley said. “We have reached an agreement in principle with BP to compensate the State for all of the environmental and economic damages suffered as a result of the oil spill. With the agreement announced today, we are taking a significant step forward in our State and will become a stronger, safer and more resilient state as a result of this terrible disaster.”

“As part of an $18.5 billion global settlement announced today, BP has agreed to pay the State of Alabama $1 billion in economic damages from the April 2010 Gulf oil spill,” Attorney General Luther Strange said.  “This is a major victory for the people of Alabama who will benefit for years to come.”

Attorney General Strange joined Governor Robert Bentley in making the announcement Thursday morning.  The $1 billion economic settlement funds will be deposited in the state’s general fund over the next 18 years.  The precise allocation of these payments to the general fund will be determined at a future date, as will the State’s receipt of approximately $1 billion in settlement monies for natural resource damages and federal penalties.

This landmark settlement with BP may be the most significant economic damages case ever handled by the Alabama Attorney General’s office. 

“Five years ago when I took over the State’s case against BP, I promised to make the State of Alabama whole and to do so without spending a penny on outside counsel,” said Attorney General Strange.  “Today, I am pleased to announce that both goals have been accomplished.  This is a remarkable achievement for our state and a tremendous legacy for the future.”

Attorney General Strange went out of his way to praise his team, led by Special Deputy Attorney General Corey Maze, who worked tirelessly to achieve this historic settlement.

In January 2011, General Strange was appointed by the court to serve as Coordinating Counsel for the Gulf States in this historic litigation.  In March of this year, Strange announced that Alabama had been chosen to be the first State to receive a jury trial against BP for economic damages.  That trial was slated to begin in the spring of 2016.  

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story. 

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