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BP will have 15 years to make payments under the more than $20 billion settlement reached over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a timeline that may have raised a few eyebrows when details of the deal were released Monday (Oct. 5). But experts say the slow payout could benefit Louisiana and other coastal states.

State officials have largely praised the settlement reached between BP, the federal government and five Gulf Coast states in July and formally filed in court Monday. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said the agreement is the fastest way for funds to make their way to areas hit hardest by the oil disaster.

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