BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill is still affecting the lives of many Americans, particularly the tens of thousands that have not settled lawsuits with the company. Yet the company has bounced back from the billions it lost in the wake of the spill.
BP announced that its 2011 profit totaled $26 billion, a 114 percent jump from the year before, when the company’s “failure of supervision and accountability” caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history. As the company prepares for its upcoming trial, let’s take a look at how BP has made out after the Deepwater Horizon disaster:
- BP earned $3 million every hour in 2011. Its fourth-quarter profits reached $7.69 billion, which is up 38 percent from 2010.
- The company is sitting on another $14 billion in cash.
- The company continues to scale back its production in the wake of the spill, producing 10 percent less than 2010 levels.
- BP contributions to federal candidates totaled more than $98,000 in 2011, with more than half (65 percent) to Republican candidates.
- BP spent $8 million lobbying Congress in 2011, down from the record $15 million the company lobbied in 2009 – one year before the oil disaster.
- For every dollar the big five oil companies use in lobbying, they effectively receive $30 in subsidies. This could mean BP potentially gained up to $243 million in subsidies, although the exact amount for an individual company is undisclosed.
- In the third quarter, BP’s Bob Dudley announced the company had reached a “definite turning point” of boosted profits. However, nearly two years following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP has still only paid $7.8 billion of the $20 billion fund they created to compensate individuals and businesses for losses incurred by the spill.
- In order to pay the $40 billion cleanup costs and additional penalties, the company has committed to selling $38 billion worth of assets before 2014.
Despite being found “ultimately responsible” for the most devastating oil spill this nation has ever seen, BP has spent millions lobbying on bills that would speed offshore drilling and leases. This includes filing a total 24 reports on bills undermining safety regulation in the Gulf of Mexico, H.R. 1231 “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act” and H.R. 1229 “Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act.”
At the time, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar accused House Republicans of having “amnesia” about the oil spill. No doubt the total $137 billion profits in 2011 for the five big oil companies had something to do with it.
About the Author
Rebecca Leber is a research assistant for the ThinkProgress war room. She graduated from the University of Rochester and holds a B.A. in political science and English with a minor in economics. Previously, she interned at ThinkProgress and blogged for a millennial website called PolicyMic. While in college, she was managing editor of the campus newspaper and held internships with an opinion polling firm and a N.Y. Assemblymember. Rebecca is originally from New York.