From Danielle Thomas, an attorney with a legal aid group, who has been assisting people with their GCCF claims:
“These people are still really, really hurting…bills are coming due, or they’re already way past due. They’re borrowing from friends and families. There are people living out of cars with their children… It’s unbearable for people.”
From Ken Feinberg, administrator of the BP fund:
“I’m doing my best…the program is not perfect, but I think we are achieving what BP and the administration wanted to see done.”
And that is, exactly what?
British Petroleum appears to have been about cutting costs, from their actions on the Deepwater Horizon to their commitment to the Gulf Coast after the oil spilled…be it trying to influence the scientific research into what caused the spill, to the lowballing of flow rates from the Macondo Well, to their recently stated denial of responsibility in paying to reseed oyster beds which were damaged while combating the spill.
As for the administration, well, President Obama doesn’t even have plans to be in Louisiana for the anniversary of the rig’s explosion, instead opting to spend time in California.
So, if it appears BP and the administration are just trying to save money and/or pretend the Gulf Coast doesn’t exist, and this is what Feinberg says he is trying to achieve…it might explain why he is constantly trying to rewrite the narratives of what is happening with claimants every time a journalist asks him a question.
Take, for example, his continued explanations on why so many people are taking the quick pay option which pays only $500o dollars to individuals and $25,000 to businesses, and requires them to sign away their rights to sue BP for future damages:
“Feinberg believes people…either received an emergency payment last year and feel “adequately compensated” already, or they simply lack the proper documentation to prove further damages. If people were being pushed into quick payments, “you would think there would be a flood of citizen complaints in the Gulf,” he said, “and we haven’t seen that.”
He hasn’t seen a flood of citizen complaints?
I find this hard to believe considering he has repeatedly stated in the press that he’s read the well over 3000 comments submitted to the GCCF website during the Final Claims Methodology public comment period.
Go ahead, take a look for yourselves. I do think that unlike Feinberg, you’ll find many, many people saying that after reading the methodology, they’re considering the quick pay claims because the continued stalling has made them financially desperate, also, just so they can be done with the GCCF for good.
Comments such as:
Feb 16th – “I started a business five years ago that was successful prior to the oil spill, and now It may not make it another year without your assistance. I’m just trying to live the american dream and have something to pass on to my children. This methodology you proposed is just a delay and a scare tactic, you are playing poker with our lives. This methodology is so unfair it now looks good to individuals and business to take the quick pay, you hold all the money and the cards. What a sorry business man you are. We will not go down without a fight. Do the right thing and you may sleep better at night.”
And, of all the comments on the GCCF website, I would challenge Feinberg to find 1%, or 30 of them from claimants who state they have been “fairly compensated.”
So yes, like the price of gas and faulty cleanup efforts, and like the giveaway to Wall Street and large investment banks, and like the way GCCF’s claims process is being handled, it would appear that British Petroleum, the administration and Ken Feinberg are all on the same page when attempting to screw the residents of the Gulf Coast, in the accustomed Feinbergian ways:
1. If you repeat a lie often enough, people who aren’t paying close attention will start to believe it.
2. The way to deal with residents harmed by the oil spill is to stall them into submission, or at least until the media, and the claimants themselves are forced to simply give up and go away.
In the press, Feinberg can say he is doing a good job all he wants, but his narrative, just like British Petroleum’s “Making Things Right” commercials, is nothing more than a well-produced spin tactic.
And in the real world, we refer to spin by it’s more proper name: lies.
Have a nice day.