Obama Will Demand a BP Escrow Fund for Victims
Posted on Jun 13, 2010
President Barack Obama finally might be digging in his executive heels over the Gulf oil blowout. The White House has announced the president will address the nation Tuesday night about the spill and is expected to outline a plan that would force BP to create a multibillion-dollar escrow account to compensate those affected. —JCL
The New York Times:
President Obama for the first time will address the nation about the ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night and outline his plans to legally force BP executives to create an escrow account reserving billions of dollars to compensate businesses and individuals if the company does not do so on its own, a senior administration official said on Sunday.
“The president will use his legal authority to compel them,” said Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman.
Mr. Gibbs did not elaborate on the legal basis for such a move but said that White House lawyers have been researching the matter for days. The president is seizing the initiative after reports on Friday from London that BP would voluntarily establish an escrow account — either for compensating victims or for delaying a planned dividend for BP shareholders — turned out to be less certain than the White House initially thought.
The escrow account that the White House envisions would be roughly modeled after the fund established for victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and it would be administered by a third party to provide greater independence and transparency and to guard against the company too narrowly defining who is entitled to payments and how much.
AP / Evan Vucci
President Barack Obama, shown visiting the Louisiana coast in late May, will make his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast on Monday and Tuesday, returning to Washington in time to report to the nation Tuesday night.