Attorney General Eric Holder announces a civil lawsuit against BP and eight others in an effort to recover billions of dollars from the Gulf oil spill. At right is Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images

Oysterman Mitch Jurisich steers a small boat around his family's oyster beds off the coast of Empire, La. He hasn't harvested many oysters since oil from the BP spill drifted into the area in June. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Tamara Keith/NPR

Fred Bartlit Jr., chief investigator of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, at the public hearing in Washington, D.C., on Monday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

toggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Boats battle a fire at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April. Eleven people were killed in the blast. U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images

Waves breaking on the shore in Orange Beach, Ala., leave behind an oily residue. Mayor Tony Kennon expects BP to restore the town's beaches to sugar white condition. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Debbie Elliott/NPR

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor