President Obama makes his fourth visit to the Gulf
this week, and on Tuesday he will give a national prime-time address about the oil spill. As the leak continues to gush at twice the
, the administration is under mounting
pressure to take control of the crisis and impose concrete measures to hold BP accountable. The mammoth company, for its part, seems ready to cut dividends to appease some public anger, and is sending executives to meet with the president on Wednesday. Here's what to expect:
Forced to Make Account to Pay Damages Robert Hendin of CBS News explains
that "the President will push for a BP-funded escrow account to handle
claims filed by people and businesses in the Gulf area who have lost
business (and possibly their entire livelihood) because of the spill." Mike Allen of Politico elaborates that the
account will pay out damage claims evaluated not by BP--which has been
accused of slow responses--but a third party.
- A Week
of BP on the Defensive Jackie Calmes of the New York Times explains
how the Obama administration is seeking legal tools to force BP to
establish the fund. This "ultimatum" and Obama's speech will "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
spill. BP's CEO will also be "in the hot seat" testifying before
- Oil Giant Ready to Cut Dividend Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism writes
that after some resistance from British pensioners and other
shareholders, BP now seems willing to cut its dividend. At the same
time, the company "is simultaneously negotiating with the Administration
... BP appears to want the Administration to quit criticizing it in
public (or at least to tone it down a lot) and to set some limits on
what BP will be held responsible for."
- Pressure Mounting From
Gulf Governors Mike Allen of Politico writes that governors of
the southern states Obama is visiting are asking "for BP to pay out for
the secondary costs of the spill, such as its impact on tourism." An editorial from the
Miami Herald asks for lifting a $75 million limit on how much
companies are required to pay beyond cleanup costs because "Oil
companies can afford it."
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