Home > obama, politics > Obama to order BP to create fund for oil spill-related claims…but can he?

Obama to order BP to create fund for oil spill-related claims…but can he?

In a further effort to make people think he’s kicking a little ass, President Obama is planning to order BP to create an independently administered fund to reimburse victims of the spill.  I, for one, can’t think of any way the White House or Congress could order BP to put millions of dollars of its own money into any fund for the payment of claims absent either a finding of liability or BP’s bankruptcy.  While the EPA certainly has the authority to compel BP to pay for the environmental clean-up, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have the authority to force BP to pay Bubba-Gump for the loss of his shrimping business.  In that case, B.G. would have to sue BP and ultimately prove that his loss of business was caused by the oil spill.

Notwithstanding the above, however, I think it would be in BP’s best interest to agree to the fund.  At some point, BP is going to start being faced with claims that have nothing to do with the oil spill.  The last thing BP needs is the press running stories about how poor Silvio is having to fight with the big bad BP over being reimbursed for the poor performance of his male escort service in Las Vegas.  By agreeing to the fund, BP will be washing its hands of presiding over the reimbursement process.  Instead, an independent Special Master could be appointed to determine who should get what.  Agreeing to the fund would be a public relations victory for BP, as well as a common sense solution for dealing with the Silvio’s of the world.

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  1. Mary
    June 14, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    Ummmmmmmmmm. No. Unless BP gets an agreement, worth the paper it is written on, releasing them from all future claims and liability from anyone, anytime, anywhere for this agreed upon, by the government, sum of money, I wouldn’t agree to this. And who believes such agreement wouldn’t be set aside by the Courts the second the funds run dry and Bubba’s dog starts wheezing due, I’m sure, to the fumes caused by the oil spill.

    I’m not going to go into the Chicago “friends” who will be selected to “administer” this fund. Suffice to say, those who truly should receive compensation won’t get one thin dime once the fund’s administration costs are paid. Thus, the agreement would have to be set aside.

  2. Mary
    June 15, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    Just a quick follow up. In a discussion as to the many things wrong with such a funds, the Wall Street Journal noted that the White House is suggesting BP “start with” a $20 billion deposit into the fund. The WH wants the fund to also pay for Obama’s stupidity in shutting down all Gulf oil jobs for the next 6 months and pointed out the obvious when they wrote:

    Democrats are vowing this fund will be tightly crafted and used only for oil-spill payments. But only last week Democrats on Capitol Hill wanted to siphon money out of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund—established in 1986 and funded by oil taxes to help clean-up spills—to pay for their extension of unemployment benefits. The history of such government funds is that they are always raided for politically favored purposes.

  1. June 16, 2010 at 2:53 PM

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