BP: Gulf Coast Economy Has Recovered From Spill

By: Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida
By: Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida

Tallahassee, FL - After paying more than $4.6 billion to private citizens and businesses since the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP officials have told federal overseers that the Gulf coast economy is mostly back on its feet and therefore the company should not have to pay for most new losses going forward.

In a letter to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which has been set up to reimburse people and businesses for spill related costs, BP says that future claims should be limited to the small minority of applicants whose businesses have not rebounded.

“Multiple lines of evidence show that, to the extent certain portions of the Gulf economy were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Gulf economy experienced a robust recovery in the fall of 2010, and that economic performance remains strong in 2011,” the company wrote in a letter to the GCCF dated Thursday.

“The current economic data do not suggest that individual and business claimants face a material risk of future loss caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” the company concludes.

Further, the company says that some of the payments already made go outside the boundaries for which it is required to pay under the federal Oil Pollution Act that governs the industry.

Florida’s cities and counties have collected more than $31 million from BP for efforts to respond to and clean up the worst oil spill in U.S. history, according to the latest figures tracked by the company, which has set aside $20 billion to pay for the damage.

Late Thursday, the company released its latest round of government payouts that indicates it may also be winding up its payments to cities, counties and the state. Thursday’s figures were identical to those released on June 23, and just $1.4 million higher than they were on June 9.

Escambia County led the state with $9.7 million in payments for removal costs, public services expenses and lost revenue. Nearby Bay County has so far collected $9 million from the company for damages incurred. The company has paid for damages as far south as the Keys, with Monroe County, Marathon and Key West combining for $81,075 in costs. Miami-Dade collected $28,000 for costs associated with the spill.

The payments, made by the oil company to reimburse governments for recovery costs and loss of revenue brought on by the April 20, 2010 explosion and fire aboard the rig that led to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, come in addition to the payments made by the company to private residents and businesses for lost revenue related to the spill.

Private companies are required to go though the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which as of Thursday had distributed more than $4.6 billion on 196,524 claims. Overall, the facility has received 502,177 claims. The private sector payout is running more slowly than the government paybacks, a lag likely caused by the sheer number of claims and the lack, in many cases, of corroborating documentation.

Many Florida Panhandle applicants, for example, have complained that much of their business was done on a cash basis, an informal and often unaudited system for which few records exist. Of the nearly half a million claims, about 47,000 are being handled through attorneys.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will be in Pensacola on Monday as part of hearings held by the U.S Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to get updates a year after the spill.

The discussion will include Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Capt. Bob Zales, president of the National Association of Charterboat Operators and Collier Merrill, chairman of the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by lisa Location: golden meadow, la on Jul 11, 2011 at 08:31 PM
    being a commercial fisherman from this area for 40 years(not a scientist) what a joke bp is playing again. what liars. the fishing industry is not back. maybe bp(gccf) is saying they have paid over 95% of all claims-my interim claim has be under review for 4 months. when we have bills to pay we pay them--why doesn't bp(gccf) pay the lost documented lost income we have and are still sufferingh?
  • by garry Location: home on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:38 AM
    the enviroment paid the biggest price. thank you bp. you cheapskates. can you imagin how much bp has made off gas this summer with the rise in gas prices? BILLIONS
  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on Jul 10, 2011 at 07:30 AM
    The actual reccovery will not be known until maybe 50-100 years.
    • reply
      by lisa on Jul 11, 2011 at 08:32 PM in reply to Jim
      you're right jim--and they want a fisherman to sign away his lif for a measly $25,000. what a joke
  • by John Location: Live Oak on Jul 10, 2011 at 07:06 AM
    Me: Really all recovered? Hmmmmm, So how about the current (still) 100% contamination of oyster beds? BP: Oh, that....
  • by Jean Location: Tallahassee on Jul 9, 2011 at 06:23 PM
    And we should believe what BP says?
    • reply
      by lisa on Jul 11, 2011 at 08:33 PM in reply to Jean
      you're right jean. from the very beginning all they have done is lied. bp-making it right??? what a joke
  • by Jake on Jul 9, 2011 at 02:45 PM
    If pot were legal, no one would care!
  • by taxed to death Location: usa on Jul 9, 2011 at 09:20 AM
    i knew they would walk away with over half of the 20 billion they set aside.if we only could produce our own energy with solar power we could run these crooks out the usa. they havent paid these people that lost nothing. 4.6 billion cant replace all the bussiness that went under.
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 125252894 - wctv.tv/a?a=125252894
Gray Television, Inc.