Wow, sometimes Ken can’t buy a friend, whether it’s the politicians, the scientists or his boss…but hey, nobody ever said when it came to $20 billion dollars, giving away as little of it as possible would be easy. That’s why he’s getting the big bucks…$1.25 million dollars a month…but really, how much abuse can a guy take?
As many are aware by now, last week BP went one better than their past complaints of over-payments to claimants, by filing a strongly worded think piece on how the GCCF should stop making payments period…you know, because things are going so well now for everybody in the Gulf, what with the fish lesions, the closed beaches, the poor shrimping season and all that other, sciencey, environmental stuff…well, now a few more people are knocking on Ken’s door.
Tuesday, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood decided to file a lawsuit against Ken Feinberg and the GCCF, saying the oil spill claims czar has refused to turn over requested documents by claimants who signed waivers for Hood to review their claims.
Feinberg responded to the suit by calling Jim Hood a big fat liar:
“Prior to Memorial Day weekend, we met in D.C. with a number of his key staff and went through a summary of the claims process,” Feinberg continued (in an e-mail). “We reviewed 13 authorized claims and we went through the process as to how we determined eligibility and damages for those claims”
Feinberg also said they gave a total of 125 claims files, but Mr. Hood believes he is not getting all the pertinent information needed for an accurate assessment of those and other claims.
The Mississippi AG said… “Feinberg and the GCCF have continually made promises of compliance, but have failed to fully provide necessary information,” Hood said in a written statement. “All they have managed to do is delay, deny, deceive and dissemble.”
Yes, it would appear Ken Feinberg and the GCCF can’t operate in a transparent way even when directly addressing issues of their own transparency.
Hood wrote Feinberg needs to comply fully with his subpoena so he can then determine if Feinberg is acting in good faith, including such documents as:
–All agreements, including compensation agreements, between the claims operation and BP.
–All correspondence the claims operation has had with BP and the federal government.
–Proximity maps or other boundaries, zones or geographical areas used to process Mississippi claims.
–All communication between the claims operation and the experts it consulted with in determining its protocols and payment formulas.
–Individual claimant information, such as the amount of money requested and paid, how long the claim took to be processed, the reason for any denials or partial payments, and what if any additional documentation the claimant had to provide.
So, first BP’s got a problem with Ken. Then the Attorney General goes all legal on Feinberg…what else does this guy have to deal with (or ignore) this week?
Well, how about a few comments on the environmental recovery of the Gulf, stated by a couple of blasts from the past? Thursday is the anniversary of the Macondo well’s capping, leading to a number of “where are they now” articles including this one, where Ian MacDonald and David Hollander, two scientists who’ve been studying the Gulf from the beginning of this mess, take a walk down memory lane to recall how BP and the government lied and initially covered up the true rate of oil flow from the busted well-head, as well as commenting on the current environmental state of the Gulf and it’s possible future :
“…they say the story of what’s happening to the Gulf is just beginning. Hollander says a lot of the damage took place deep at the bottom of the Gulf. “With the accumulation of petroleum,” says, Hollander, “maybe you could call this a ‘dirty blizzard’ of materials sinking downward and accumulating on the sediment surface.”
“And that sediment a mile down in the Gulf has smothered much of the marine life – what Hollander calls a ‘toxic bathtub ring.’ Other tiny organisms are deformed. There are reports of dead dolphins and turtles washing ashore, and fish with suspicious lesions. “This could take decades, but I think you’ll start to see definitive responses within the ecosystem certainly on the order of five to seven years,” says Hollander. “So there’s that aspect of the living resource – which is really important – the fish health and safety, as we’re seeing with the fish lesions – these are really important questions which need to be addressed, we’re not going to be resolved within weeks, but more likely in months, to years.”
Years, several years…yet Feinberg intends to close shop in August of 2013, the date/timetable he’s used to base his claims payment methodology. Science continues to indicate this timetable is unrealistic. It isn’t enough time to gather a true understanding of possible damages to come, let alone do something about it and some might argue that’s the point…some might. In any case, the speedy recovery estimates could serve to save British Petroleum a great deal of money, especially if people continue to get sick, or if the ecosystem doesn’t bounce back so quickly…even if BP inexplicably tries to claim it already has.
“MacDonald agrees that we’re just starting to learn the effects of the spill.”
Perhaps these two men, a professor from FSU and an Oceanographer from USF, could be put more at ease if they just asked Mr. Feinberg his thoughts. He seems to know more about the health of the Gulf’s ecosystem than anyone…though if they did ask, Ken might decide to hold a few things back…(he seems to have issues with this (so does BP…))
Anyways Ken…I would love to sit here at my desk and show some compassion, you know, being a social worker and all but I can’t.
If I did, then when it comes to transparency, this would make me a hypocrite.
Oh…and one more thing in case you missed it…the House of Representatives took time away from both trying to bring back energy-wasting light bulbs and undoing the social safety net in order to deprive the White House of requested funds for ecosystem restoration in Louisiana.
Brilliant – when you’re hot, you’re hot…
Have a nice day.