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Ear to the Ground

Obama Huddles With BP Bosses ($20 Billion Update)

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Posted on Jun 16, 2010
Obama
bbc.co.uk

Following up on his Tuesday address to the nation about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, President Barack Obama was preparing Wednesday for some “constructive discussion,” as the beleaguered BP put it, at a White House meeting—and probably some knuckle-rapping, too, but the company didn’t really highlight that potential aspect of its bigwigs’ big day at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  —KA

Update: BP will put $20 billion into a damage claims account to be administered by pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.

BBC:

It will be Mr Obama’s first face-to-face meeting with them since the oil leak began.

“I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness,” Mr Obama said in his address from the White House’s Oval Office.

“And this fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party.”

In response to the speech, BP said in a statement that it shared Mr Obama’s goal of cleaning up the oil spill and helping the people affected by it.

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By Jim Yell, June 17, 2010 at 5:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would suspect that $20 billion dollars isn’t even a good start to what it will take and compensation may be meaningless if the Gulf is actually destroyed for decades.

I think the only way to control the bankers, the oil men and other irresponsible and greedy bastards is to make them pay the same that a poor person pays for crime. Destroy their lives as they have destroyed the lives of the people and the environment. Make they surrender their ill gotten wealth and send them to a Hard Prison, not some country club with walls. What they did was not an accident it was a crime, deliberate and unforgivable.

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By FRTothus, June 17, 2010 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

...of the corporations, by the corporations, for the
corporations…

Obama has done the American people a greater
disservice than is now understood, by serving up old-
fashioned corporatism dressed up in the pretty dress
of populism.

Apparently law enforcement is not this man’s forte.

When will a man of backbone live at 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue?  Stupid question, I know.

“[American leaders] are perhaps not so much immoral
as they are amoral. It’s not that they take pleasure
in causing so much death and suffering. It’s that
they just don’t care ... the same that could be said
about a sociopath. As long as the death and suffering
advance the agenda of the empire, as long as the
right people and the right corporations gain wealth
and power and privilege and prestige, as long as the
death and suffering aren’t happening to them or
people close to them ... then they just don’t care
about it happening to other people, including the
American soldiers whom they throw into wars and who
come home - the ones who make it back alive - with
Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome eating away at
their bodies. American leaders would not be in the
positions they hold if they were bothered by such
things.”
(William Blum)

“Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.”
(William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Act 4)

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, June 17, 2010 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

Breaking my own self-imposed rule to no longer comment on Truthdig, I must say how remarkable it is that President Obama has chosen Kenneth Feinberg to be the bag man for the pay-off compensation fund. Is it surprising that the President is compared with his predecessor, when he seems to always resurrect those retreads from the past? With all due respect, Mr. Feinberg has a really tough job: he gets to decide, like after NINE ONE ONE, what a human life is actually worth, in cash $, that’s net not gross.
I also find it curious that people think the President is doing an effective job because BP announces they are not going to pay out a dividend for the rest of the year. Yes we now know who is responsible for all that oil fouling up the gulf: its those damn stockholders! The executives of the company are sadly contrite, but most assuredly secure.

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By Thomas Billis, June 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

I would like to know what BP got in return for the 20 billion dollar fund they have established.Corporations are not giving up 20 billion without a fight or getting 21 billion in return.Wonderful to hear that BP cares about the “small people"that should make Mickey Rooney very happy not to mention the munchkins.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Obama takes a page out of the Jesse Jackson shakedown playbook and BP stops its dividend and puts $20 billion in the treasury.

And the stock price goes UP!!

Man oh man. What does Obama have to do to close this company down? Those capitalists just don’t get the message, I tell ya.

Say you’re a fisherman in Mississippi. You can justifiably claim $100,000 in losses due to the spill. Would you prefer to have your lawyer send your claim to BP, or to the federal government? Which one would have a keener interest in keeping you happy and quiet? And which one would have the lower overhead administering the restitution program?

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, June 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The official position of the business community on this issue was given by the US Chamber of Commerce
when it said that taxpayers should pay for the clean up and some republicans in congress have seconded that proposal.  When a corporation admits culpability it is only a strategy for dealing with bad press.  It remains to be seen what is paid and who pays it.

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By ralph, June 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Clearly Obama is BP’s stooge. The first priority should be to stop the gusher. BP is delighted to pay 20 billion to get off paying the likely costs of many times that amount, completely unknown at this time.

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