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BP Promises 20 Billion: Trust But Verify

June 17th, 2010 by flanews

BP will put 20 billion dollars in a compensation fund to pay fishermen and business owners losing money because of the companys oil spill. The fund is being set up under criticism that BP is taking to long to pay claims and fears the company will run out of money. As Whitney Ray tells us, BPs commitment is encouraging, but confusion remains over who qualifies for the cash and if 20 billion is enough.

Welcome to Joys General Store in St. Marks; where you can get groceries, knick-knacks and even a smile.

But smiles dont pay the bills and ever since oil began gushing into the gulf, business has slowed. Owner Joy Brown says the people in this small fishing community are rationing their money over fears that the oil spill will end their careers.

If they have any money they are saving it because they know down the road they will have less, said Brown.

And what hurts the most is, the oil is still a hundred miles away but tourists have stopped coming. Its lunchtime in St. Marks and this lot where people park to go to three of the towns busiest restaurants is practically empty.

Joy is keeping track of her losses and is in the process of filing a claim. Shes encouraged by news that BP is putting 20 billion dollars in an escrow account.
But there is still confusion about who will be allowed to tap the fund.

Attorney General Bill McCollum says the state will still have to fight to make sure Florida gets its fair share.

What I dont know is how that is going to be apportioned among the states or the claimants or whatever. There are going to be a lot of claims and we are going to have to fight to make sure whatever process is there, that Floridians get their fair share, said McCollum.

BP will put five billion dollars a year into the fund over the next four years Still most state officials say it wont be enough. There are still very few details about how the claims process will change in Florida, if at all, but people who have already filed arent expected to have to do any extra paperwork, and once the federal oversight system is set up claims should begin to move faster.

Posted in Economy, Gulf Oil Spill, McCollum, State News, Tourism, Wildlife | No Comments »

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