Congressman: BP, Obama in talks over oil spill fines

GULF OF MEXICO — A congressman says BP and the Obama administration are in talks about a possible settlement over fines for the company’s massive Gulf oil spill.

Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise told The Associated Press yesterday that members of his staff got information about the talks while working on oil spill-related legislation he is proposing.

Scalise says the goal of the talks between BP and the government is to reach a deal instead of having to fight it out in court.

He says the two sides appear to be at odds over whether BP should be considered grossly negligent for the spill, a finding that could mean higher fines.

There was no immediate comment from BP or the Justice Department.

An April 20 rig explosion in the Gulf killed 11 workers and led to 206 million gallons of oil spewing from BP’s undersea well.

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