Pay Up: BP to Face Huge Oil-Spill Fines

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REUTERS/Toby Melville

BP has already pledged $20 billion to assist those affected by the oil spill. But that’s not all they’ll have to fork over.

CNNMoney reports that BP could pay up to $18 billion more in government fines. The company may have to pay up to $4,300 for every gallon spilled in the Gulf due to violating the Clean Water Act, as long as officials deem they were negligent during the time of the spill.

The problem? Nobody knows exactly how much oil has spilled. Estimates have ranged from 1,000 each day to 60,000 each day. If the bigger estimate is true, then BP will pay big. Ultimately, though, it’s unlikely that the amount will add up to $18 billion, due to the extent politics will play.

And don’t cry for BP — they made more than $17 billion last year alone. Plus, at least the vuvuzelas are gone.