In a deal negotiated last month, President Obama and BP officials agreed the company would pay $5 billion annually over the next four years into an escrow account for damage its oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused. Ken Feinberg, who was appointed to administer oil spill claims out of the escrow fund, has said he “hasn’t been able to start writing claims checks” because BP PLC has failed to deposit any money into the $20 billion fund it promised to create:
Feinberg, who was appointed to administer oil spill claims out of the fund, said he doesn’t have the authority to force BP to deposit the money, but his hands are tied until it does. “I don’t want the checks to bounce,” he said.
The day after the escrow account’s establishment in June, BP CEO Tony Hayward told Congress that BP is “unwavering in our commitment to fulfill all our responsibilities” and the company “won’t stop spending until the job is done.”
This is so sad. As a pet lover, I can imagine how hard it is to give up one’s pet for economic reasons.
A sad indicator of how BP’s oil spill has impacted life in Louisana’s coastal parishes:
Animal shelters in coastal parishes are packed with pets being dropped off by owners who say they cannot afford to care for them any longer.
“The coastal parish animal shelters have experienced 2-3 times the number of pets being relinquished than last summer,” said Ana Zorrilla, chief executive officer of the Louisiana SPCA. “Studies have shown pets reduce stress, aid in overcoming depression and loss, and provide comfort in times of need. Knowing how bonded people are with their pets, it’s heartbreaking to hear of families having to make this kind of decision. The pets have become innocent victims of this disaster.”
To help keep pets with their owners, the Louisiana SPCA is supporting a relief program to help fisherman impacted by the spill afford food and veterinary care for their pets. They hope the program can help about one thousand pets stay with their owners. If you’d like to help, you can donate online or in person.
Until now, I have refrained putting pictures like the above on this blog. However, I now join the millions of Americans who feel that the entire world should see what BP is doing and what they are covering up. The following article in the Atlantic, describes some of BP’s atrocities.
The Atlantic - Julie Dermansky
As a writer and photographer covering the oil spill in the Gulf, I’ve been frustrated by the well-documented efforts by BP and the U.S. Government to limit media access to the damage. The restrictions tightened last week, when the Coast Guard announced rules that prevent the public–including news photographers and reporters–from coming within 20 meters (about 65 feet) of any response vessels or booms on the water or beaches. Violate the “safety zone” rule and you can be slapped with a $40,000 fine and prosecuted under a Class D felony.
Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen defended the buffer, saying it is “not unusual” to enact measures for “marine events” or “fireworks demonstrations.” Allen spokesperson Megan Molney wrote in a July 4 email: “These 20-meter zones are only slightly longer than the distance from a baseball pitcher’s mound to home plate. This distance is insignificant when gathering images.” Perhaps Molney has never shot video or taken a photograph. But those of us working here know that the real impact–and, one fears, the real goal–of the so-called safety zone is to make it difficult to document the impact of the spill on the land and the wildlife.