MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Among Governor-elect Robert Bentley's priorities when he takes office in January is to reach a settlement or deal with oil giant BP.
BP was the company responsible for the oil spill that last more than two months that led to more than five million gallons of crude entering the Gulf of Mexico.
"BP needs to pay that" Gov-elect Bentley said. "Now I have not decided and I have not tipped my hand yet on how we're going to recoup that money on whether we're going to do it through a lawsuit or whether we're going to do it through a negotiation."
Bentley said he would rather negotiate with the British oil giant instead of bring a lawsuit against it. A lawsuit he said, "Could take 10 years to finish and of course the lawyers will get their 14 percent."
By negotiating some sort of deal out of court, Bentley said "We can get that money very quickly. We can get the money this year, next year and maybe the next year. That way we get it now."
The former state representative from Tuscaloosa said the money the state would recoup from BP would go directly toward the state's Education Trust Fund since it would be considered lost sales tax revenue.
"That's when we need it, (now), during the crisis that we're having over the next two or three years."
Bentley will be take the oath of office January 17.