However, after journalists pointed out that federal law sets a $75 million cap for economic damages in offshore spills, the White House issued a more nuanced statement that said the company is on the hook for cleanup costs but not necessarily all damages incurred by private individuals or businesses.
Let's be clear: BP is responsible for and will be held accountable for the very significant clean-up and recovery costs, Office of Management and Budget spokesman Ken Baer said Monday evening. If BP is found to be grossly negligent or to have engaged in willful misconduct or conduct in violation of federal regulations, then there is no cap under the Oil Pollution Act for damages. In addition, BP could be liable for damages under additional applicable federal and state laws. You can be sure that BP will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.