A helicopter flies over an oil slick from the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster. 
A helicopter flies over an oil slick from the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster.  - 
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The final tab for BP — five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history — just got a whole lot more clear. The company settled with the federal government and five Gulf Coast states for $18.7 billion on Thursday. That money will go towards environmental damage, legal penalties and state economic claims.

In all, BP’s total liability will exceed $40 billion. So the question is, is the oil industry safer today?

"In a lot of ways, yes," says Marketplace’s Scott Tong. "The rules have changed. There are more audits of safety protocols than existed before. There is now a federal agency that exclusively does offshore oil safety, which did not exist before."

Click on the media player above to hear more.

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal