President Obama met today with top executives from BP to discuss the
ongoing response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He secured
several immediate concessions from the oil giant. Here's what he's
walked away with and what it means.
- $20 Billion Compensation
Fund Time's Bryan Walsh writes, "White
House officials and BP executives have tentatively agreed that the
energy company will set up a fund worth about $20 billion over the next
several years to compensate residents and businesses in the Gulf of
Mexico affected by the oil spill. The escrow account will be
independently administered by Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer who ran the
compensation fund for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, which the BP fund
may be modeled on. ... The establishment of the independent fund at
least gives Obama a clear political win after weeks of struggles against
the oil spill, and gives some substance to the promise the President
made last night to build back the battered Gulf region over the long
- BP Halting Dividend Payments The New York Times' Jackie Calmes
and Helene Cooper write, "To make sure that all claims are paid, the
administration had demanded that BP set aside money to pay for future
liabilities before paying dividends to shareholders, which now amount to
about $10.5 billion a year. ...With oil trading above $75 a barrel, the
company has torrents of money flowing in and says it will be able to
use that revenue to pay for the cleanup as well as many of the penalties
it will face. Last year, BP operations generated $27.7 billion in
- Understanding That $75 Million Liability Cap Is 'Insufficient' NBC's Athena Jones and Mark
Murray dispel concerns that the liability cap would remain in place.
"Obama called today's meeting -- his first with BP officials --
'constructive' and said the current $75 million cap on oil companies'
liability in the case of oil spills under federal law would 'obviously
be insufficient' and that therefore the escrow account would provide
'substantial assurance' that claims would be honored." In addition,
liability is not capped at $20 billion by the compensation fund.
- $100 Million Oil Worker Unemployment Fund The Associated Press reports, "President Barack Obama says BP
has agreed to establish a $100 million
fund to compensate unemployed oil rig workers affected by a six-month
moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed in the wake of the Gulf oil
spill. ... Obama imposed a six-month
moratorium on new deepwater drilling last month while a commission
reviews the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig."
- Opportunity to Push for Making BP Pay Full Cost Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler explains,
"Democrats are asking House Minority Leader John Boehner to put his
money (or at least his signature) where his mouth is. Boehner took to
the Sunday shows this weekend to say he supports forcing BP to pay for
the full cost of damages in the Gulf, but has been largely mum on how,
legislatively, he proposes to do that. Now, Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and
Jay Inslee (D-WA), authors of a bill that would retroactively and
permanently remove the $75 million liability cap on BP and other oil
companies, are inviting him to join their efforts."
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