State Attorneys General have submitted a proposal to Ken Feinberg, who is in charge of the $20 billion BP restoration fund, that would not limit the amount of time residents have to file claims and would not require them to waive their right to sue BP. The chief law enforcement officers from the five Gulf states met in Mobile with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in mid-July. According to Troy King and Jim Hood of Mississippi, their meeting was dominated by talk of a proposal Feinberg sent to states that would have ended claims payments 90 days after the spill is capped and require people to sign a release of liability before collecting their last check from BP. That is unacceptable to the Attorneys General and rightfully so.
Attorney General Hood says Holder recognized the flaws in the Feinberg plan. Holder apparently understands fully that the effects of the oil spill will be going on for years after the leak is stopped. I believe it will affect the region for at least 25 years and perhaps longer. Hopefully, I am wrong and the period of time will be much shorter. Holder is putting together a panel of lawyers and officials, with heavy representation from the Gulf Coast, to draft a new proposal to submit to Feinberg. I agree with Troy that “the focus should be on protecting the Gulf states and making sure everyone is made whole.” I don’t trust BP to do the right thing by its victims based on the oil giant’s past record and our experience with the oil industry. BP must be held accountable for the full extent of losses suffered by individuals, businesses, and governmental entities.
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