Re: Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund
- From: Jack Linthicum <jacklinthicum@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 13:48:39 -0700 (PDT)
On Jun 13, 4:30 pm, Frogwatch <dboh...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Jun 13, 1:24 pm, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
It would appear the dance is ending. And the charade on the beaches is
just beginning. Seems to be 50-50 whether people going to the beach
stay. They don't call it the Redneck Riviera for nothing.
June 13, 2010
Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund
By JACKIE CALMES
WASHINGTON — President Obama for the first time will address the
nation about the ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday
night and outline his plans to legally force BP executives to create
an escrow account reserving billions of dollars to compensate
businesses and individuals if the company does not do so on its own, a
senior administration official said on Sunday.
“The president will use his legal authority to compel them,” said
Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman.
Mr. Gibbs did not elaborate on the legal basis for such a move but
said that White House lawyers have been researching the matter for
days. The president is seizing the initiative after reports on Friday
from London that BP would voluntarily establish an escrow account —
either for compensating victims or for delaying a planned dividend for
BP shareholders — turned out to be less certain than the White House
The escrow account that the White House envisions would be roughly
modeled after the fund established for victims of the terrorist
attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and it would be administered by a third
party to provide greater independence and transparency and to guard
against the company too narrowly defining who is entitled to payments
and how much.
“We want to make sure that money is escrowed for the legitimate claims
that are going to be, and are being made, by businesses down in the
Gulf — people who’ve been damaged by this,” said David Axelrod, Mr.
Obama’s senior White House strategist, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
television news program on Sunday. “And we want to make sure that that
money is independently administered so that [they] won’t be slow-
walked on these claims.”
The plans for a prime-time speech and Mr. Obama’s ultimatum on an
escrow account escalate Mr. Obama’s personal engagement in the eight-
week-old environmental and economic crisis. And they set the tone for
a week of events that will have the oil giant publicly on the
defensive more than at any time in the nearly two months since the
explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig a mile below the
The BP board is to hold an emergency meeting on Monday at which it is
expected to discuss both the escrow issue and other issues company
officials will address in a meeting at the White House on Wednesday
that Mr. Obama has summoned them to.
Mr. Obama on Monday and Tuesday will make his fourth trip to the Gulf
coast since the disaster struck on April 20. It will be his first
overnight visit and, after three trips to Louisiana, his first to the
states to its east — Mississippi, Alabama and Florida — which are in
the direction of the spewing oil’s drift.
The president will return to Washington in time to report to the
nation on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday will meet with the chairman
of BP’s board, Carl-Henric Svanberg, accompanied by the company’s
chief executive, Tony Hayward, who has been criticized for statements
that many people considered insensitive and self-serving. And Mr.
Hayward will be in the hot seat on Thursday, testifying before one of
several Congressional committees investigating the calamity.
Administration officials say that Mr. Obama, in his speech from the
White House on Tuesday, will not only discuss the issue of claims
against BP but also update the nation on efforts to capture and
contain the oil, and on his proposals to reorganize the federal system
for regulating offshore oil drilling.
Amid some grumbling from Britain that the Obama administration and the
country are unfairly bashing BP, the president on Saturday discussed
the oil spill and the London-based company in a phone call with the
new British prime minister, David Cameron. A White House statement
afterward described a wide-ranging conversation that covered the
countries’ alliance in Afghanistan, sanctions against Iran, the global
economy and the upcoming G of 20 summit meeting of developed nations,
and the day’s World Cup soccer game between England and the United
States, which later ended in a tie.
But the statement also noted, “The President and the Prime Minister
discussed the impact of the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,
reiterating that BP must do all it can to respond effectively to the
Inside BP, there is a view that President Obama’s unflinching
criticism of BP and its chief executive represents an unprecedented
example of a chief of state interfering in the affairs of a
And while some officials inside the company recognize that the
president faces severe political pressures, there is also a resentment
that the company has become a whipping boy even as it does its best on
Coast Guard Admiral Thad W. Allen, who is heading the federal response
to the disaster, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he expected an
answer later on Sunday to his request to BP late last week asking its
officials for “a faster plan” to siphon off and collect the gushing
oil, one with “greater redundancy and reliability.”
He also acknowledged the recent determination from government
scientists that the volume of spewing oil could be higher than
estimated — up to 40,000 barrels a day. But Adm. Allen tempered his
estimate by saying that the “mid-30,000 range is what we’re looking
Meanwhile, the governors of three of the affected Gulf Coast states
continued to complain that the news media were harmfully exaggerating
the impact of the oil on their beaches and coastal waters, with
Mississippi’s Haley Barbour calling the coverage “very sensational.”
Mr. Barbour said that so far his state has had a “a couple of
incursions” of oil on its barrier islands, but as a result of the
coverage on cable television and other news outlets, “we’ve lost the
first third of our tourist season.”
“They have been clobbered because of the misperception that our whole
coast is knee-deep in oil,” he said of his state’s tourist businesses.
Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama and Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida echoed his
criticism, with Mr. Crist calling his beaches “clean and pristine” and
Mr. Riley urging Americans to “come down and rent a condo, stay in a
hotel, play golf.”
A slush fund for Obama's buddies. I sorta doubt all this talk of
damage to tourism because nobody in their right mind goes to Gulf
beaches in summer, too dang hot and the water is warm.
Oh? Where did you get that?
Experts paint grim picture for local tourism economy
May 02, 2010 10:13 PM
DESTIN — From building Sandestin in the late ’70s to completing
HarborWalk Village about three years ago, Peter Bos has spent decades
transforming Destin from a sleepy fishing village into a popular
Now that work and the work of countless others who make their living
in the tourism trade is threatened.
“It’s horrific. It’s hard to comprehend,” said Bos, president of
Legendary Inc. “We don’t really know what we’re dealing with. We don’t
know what to expect. We know how to respond to a hurricane. It’s going
to be very detrimental to most businesses.”
Legendary has been proactive since the April 20 explosion of the
Deepwater Horizon drilling platform by calling customers to help
alleviate their concerns. Bos said so far his staff has been able to
prevent many from canceling planned trips.
“Of all the towns along the Gulf Coast, Destin will be affected the
least,” Bos said. “There’s more to do in Destin than in Panama City
and Pensacola. There’s more golf courses, more shopping, more
restaurants, more bay and water activities that can still be done.”
Despite Bos’ optimism, there is much to be concerned about when it
comes to the upcoming tourist season.
Rick Harper, director of the Haas Center for Business Research and
Economic Development at the University of West Florida, said the
potential impact of the oil spill is massive.
Tourism represents about 10 to 12 percent of the local economy in
Santa Rosa County. That number increases to about 20 to 25 percent in
Okaloosa County and more than 50 percent in Walton County.
“If we do have dead fish, oily beaches, we can reasonably expect
visitors to stay away. And this hits right at the start of our peak
visitation season,” Harper said. “The big question marks obviously
are, how severe is the damage going to be? How long is it going to
last? Will it disrupt the entire tourist season, and how far will it
“The prognosis for the entire Gulf Coast region, from Florida,
Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Mexico — it’s not good.”
Harper said he expects the federal government will eventually declare
the areas affected by the oil spill as a disaster zone, which would
make businesses eligible for reimbursement funding for lost revenue to
let them weather the crisis.
One area that will be hit particularly hard by the oil spill is
Destin’s fishing fleet, Harper said.
“The charter fishing fleet can be expected to have massive losses due
to the spill,” Harper said. “I wouldn’t expect it to be the end of the
charter fishing industry; however, it would be severely damaged for
several seasons, with the extent and duration of that damage really
dependant on the severity of the contamination.”
The federal government has already closed off a massive section of the
gulf to fishing. While Destin charter boat captains would routinely
fish in the closed area before the oil spill, they have been able to
continue fishing for now by going more to the east.
Kelly Windes, captain of the charter boat Sunrise, said no signs of
the oil spill have been spotted by the Destin captains yet, but that’s
the only good thing that can be said.
“It’s going to be absolutely disastrous,” Windes said. “Nobody has any
answers. It’s like a hurricane that doesn’t end. This is our worst
BP has requested help from fishermen and boaters along the gulf
shoreline to assist them with the cleanup efforts. Windes said several
of the local captains have submitted bids to participate in the
cleanup but that no contracts had been approved for them yet.
Captains wanting more information on the BP cleanup program should
While Sandestin has had a handful of cancelations come since the oil
spill first started, Laurie Hobbs, director of public relations at the
resort, said they are also getting new bookings. Sandestin even
updated its website to present regular updates on the spill.
“We’re hopeful,” Hobbs said. “We’re just watching this very closely.”
Darrel Jones, executive director of the Okaloosa County Tourist
Development Council, said none of the area condominiums or resorts has
reported large-scale cancellations. Jones said it is impossible to
predict what is going to happen with the spill.
“I think the effects are going to be long,” Jones said. “The best
thing we can hope for is it doesn’t get here, that they get that thing
shut off. That’s the big thing we can pray for.”
- Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund
- From: Jack Linthicum
- Re: Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund
- From: Frogwatch
- Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund
- Prev by Date: Re: incompetence and excuses
- Next by Date: Re: OT: USA beat England 1-1!!!!!!!!
- Previous by thread: Re: Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund
- Next by thread: Re: Obama Plans to Force BP’s Hand on Oil Spill Fund