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BP Exec Answers Questions

June 8th, 2010 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida has already burned through two thirds of the first 25 million dollars it received from BP to get ready for the arrival of oil on the beaches. Today, a senior vice president for BP spoke to the governor and cabinet, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, there is still a lot of dissatisfaction over the pace of payments to those being hurt.

Florida has already spent 15 million dollars just managing the oil spill. Senior BP Vice President Bob Fryar told the Governor and Cabinet more cash was on the way.

“I’m here today to announce a further 25 million dollars,” Fryar said.

Fryar apologized for the mess.

“I know firsthand the beauty of those beaches and I wish these circumstances were different,” he said.

But then he was grilled by the Governor and three Cabinet members. They told him the response has been too little and too slow.

“I just don’t think you’ve done enough,” Attorney General Bill McCollum said.

“These people need money in their hands and in their checking accounts,” CFO Alex Sink said.

“The speed with which you can relieve that suffering is incredibly important,” Crist said. “We respectfully ask for it today, but we also demand it.”

When the hour long grilling was over, Fryar couldn’t get out of the building fast enough.

Reporter: What are you going to do to speed the claims process up and get money into the hands of the people?

“This week, we’re working on that and we’re going to have the methodology finalized and from there we’ll begin writing checks,” Fryar said.

And while the executive promised more checks would be flowing next week, the governor says that isn’t fast enough.

“You know, I’d like to see it like yesterday,” Crist said.

If there is anything positive come out of the meeting with BP it was a reminder that driving past their pumps doesn’t hurt the company as bad as it hurts a Florida small business.

Governor Crist also pressed British Petroleum to open more claims offices in Florida.  Right now there are eight offices.  He wants one in every coastal county.

Posted in Business, Charlie Crist, Economy, Environment, Gulf Oil Spill, McCollum, Sink, State News, Wildlife | No Comments »

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