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BP to give spilled oil revenue to wildlife

Wed., June 9, 2010, midnight

Company setting up fund to restore, improve habitat

WASHINGTON – Money from any oil collected and sold from BP’s leaking oil well will go toward a fund that helps restore and improve wildlife habitat in the four states most damaged by what is now the nation’s largest oil spill.

Although thousands of barrels of oil continue to spew into the Gulf of Mexico each day from BP’s broken well, the energy giant is salvaging much of it using a containment device installed last week.

That captured oil, McClatchy Newspapers first reported last week, could generate more than $1.4 million in revenue each day, based on flow rate estimates calculated by a federal team determining how much oil is leaking from the well.

The company said it doesn’t know exactly how much money it will donate, but all net revenue from the well will go to the fund. So will the net revenue from any oil skimmed from the ocean’s surface and sold to a refinery for processing.

The wildlife fund will create, restore, improve and protect wildlife habitat along the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, BP CEO Tony Hayward said in a statement.

The company also took pains to note that its contribution is voluntary; the fund it’s creating is “over and above BP’s obligations under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.”

The money will be made available to state agencies and nonprofits that are focused on wildlife protection and restoration, the company said.

BP is “committed to protecting the ecosystems and wildlife on the Gulf Coast,” Hayward said. “We believe these funds will have a significant positive impact on the environment in this region.”

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