Despite assurances from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu that BP would pay for workers’ losses from the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf, the energy giant appears to have successfully argued it isn’t responsible for the economic fallout of the ban. On this issue, close observers of the moratorium believe, BP has the stronger case.
Last week, in a White House meeting between top BP officials and the president, BP agreed to put $20 billion in escrow to fund cleanup costs and lost wages to fishermen and others out of work, but the negotiations left a burning question: How would the Obama administration hold BP’s feet to the fire on a government-imposed moratorium that forced 33 rigs to shut down? And yesterday The Wall Street Journal shed some light on the matter, reporting that behind the scenes, according to people on both sides of the negotiations, BP effectively pushed back on this very issue. The WSJ reported:
BP successfully argued it shouldn’t be liable for most of the broader economic distress caused by the president’s six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. President Barack Obama came away touting how BP’s money would be handed over quickly and impartially to those hurt by the spill. Not only did BP earmark the $20 billion fund but it promised an additional $100 million for Gulf workers idled by the drilling moratorium.
But BP didn’t offer a blank check. The $100 million—0.5% of the total—won’t come close to covering collateral damage from the White House’s moratorium.
The drilling industry estimates the moratorium will cost rig workers as much as $330 million a month in direct wages, not counting businesses servicing those rigs like machine-shop workers.
BP and its defenders argue that the moratorium was a White House policy decision for which it shouldn’t be responsible. The final deal was structured to limit the company’s exposure to such claims.
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NOV 28 Bill Cassidy says the story about his possible double-dipping from taxpayers is a "non-issue," the ABC News politics blog reports here. The story, broken by bloggers Lamar White Jr. and Jason Brad Berry earlier this week, is probably an issue for some taxpayers.
NOV 28 Blogger Tom Aswell writes about the next step for the 6th Congressional race. Former Gov. and ex-con Edwin Edwards plans to take some shots at opponent Garret Graves by pointing out that Graves is buddies with Bobby Jindal.
NOV 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney responds to a troll-like poster who had a problem with his most recent post about the Saints. Since people are rioting in Ferguson, Ian shouldn't talk about football, this individual opined. It's possible to care about more than one thing, Ian counters.
NOV 28 Yet again, we're hearing about budget cuts that are necessary because of a big budget hole, this editorial in the American Press says. This raises some questions, the paper says, such as: Why does this keep happening? And how can this be so when we're being told our economy is doing great?
NOV 28 Blogger Jason Brad Berry, arguably the only guy in Louisiana who is truly paying attention to the BP claims process, has a little something to say about a Picayune story on the audit reports. He wants to know if the reporter has ESP, or just wrote her story based on a press release. He also has links to the documents she wrote about - so you can judge for yourself.
NOV 28 The publishers of the Forward Now blog post this disclaimer about their social media accounts. They don't monitor who "likes" their articles, the publishers say, and they aren't trying to manipulate Facebook likes. Say what?
NOV 26 Jim Brown, like many of us Louisiana voters, seems fed up with out of town know-it-alls trying to tell us what to do. Bill Cassidy can't make it through the day without flying someone in to "tell us political retards" how to vote, he says.
NOV 26 Zach Kopplin, who we came to know and love when he was a Louisiana high school student lobbying for the continued inclusion of science stuff in science class, pens this post in The Atlantic about a "textbook" available for social studies instruction in Texas that discusses how Moses contributed to the Constitution. (Oy! Texas rednecks love Jews. Who knew?)
NOV 26 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the behavior of the two finalists in the 6th Congressional District race: Edwin Edwards and Garret Graves. Edwards has come out swinging, but Graves' campaign seems bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Tom says.
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