British energy giant BP is holding up payments to economic victims of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of a $20 billion compensation fund, said on Saturday.
“I have a concern that BP is stalling claims. Yes, BP is stalling. I doubt they are stalling for money. It’s not that. I just don’t think they know the answers to the questions (by claimants),” Feinberg told reporters. Feinberg was speaking on the sidelines of a town hall meeting in southern Alabama at which fishermen and other business owners expressed frustration and anger at what they say is a slow and complex claims process that lacks transparency. Thousands of businesses in U.S. Gulf Coast states have been crippled by the oil spill, which began with an explosion and fire on a BP Deepwater rig in April.
Used to be in Southern Louisiana, nobody ever had to worry about hunger or a lack of protein, just go catch something out of the water. But as this AP article points out, those days have been suspended and for families, at the worst time of the year – their children are home from school. During the summer, everybody eats at home, there are no reduced price lunches.
James Demolle grumbles, “I ain’t used to no handouts.”
But handouts are what his family have come to depend on. Assistance provided by Second Harvest, a government funded food bank, is in increasing demand. They supply the basics, bread, hot dogs, hamburgers, peanut butter and jelly, but this is tough to take for thousands of families accustomed to eating what they catch: shrimp, crab, redfish and oysters. It’s just another example of their routine, their culture that has been taken away from them by the BP Catstraphuk.
And whereas BP initially helped out, that was some time ago…
Colleen Bosley, of Catholic Charities, says BP PLC provided $750,000 for one month of services after the oil rig exploded and the company’s well started gushing. But that money has long since run out, and she’s still awaiting word on a second request.
“We’re going to be out there whether BP funds us or not,” she says, “but the volume we’re able to provide is far less.”
Second Harvest says 17 percent of the households in the affected parishes were below the poverty level before the spill.
Since May 3, nearly 2,000 people in five affected parishes have applied at mobile sites for assistance averaging $323 a month, says Trey Williams, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. Enrollment in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, jumped 14 percent in St. Bernard Parish between the end of April and the end of June, while Jefferson, Terrebone and Lafourche also saw bumps higher than the statewide increase of 2 percent.
Livelihoods and culture…equally important, equally being robbed…sure, the well may be capped, but two million gallons of Corexit and hundreds of thousands barrels of oil are in the Gulf of Mexico…
Ah the life of a BP catastraphuk cleanup worker: used to be the only hazard to the job was inhaling benzene, Corexit and other assorted toxins from spilled crude due to a lack of respirators, (those masks look bad in the company brochure) but you know, once one gets used to a set of difficult and hazardous working conditions, one can always count on British Petroleum to up the ante.
Yep…BP, no longer content to just deny cleanup workers the new safety supplies needed to do the job, have now begun to cut the worker’s pay, oh and they do it after the contract has been negotiated and signed.
From the Political Carnival comes a bunch of aggravating news about cleanup workers being forced to use damaged and contaminated gloves, not being given proper hazmat training and of course…the e-mails showing communication between a cleanup worker and the hiring company that contracts with BP. This particular worker, like many others was promised 13-14$ an hour (ridiculously low to start with) and per diem lodgings etc,. if living further than 55 miles away from the clean-up site. After accepting the job offer, BP informed the hiring agency that such luxuries were no longer to be afforded and the pay rate had been dropped and per diems and housing were no longer part of the deal…
Face it folks, British Petroleum doesn’t answer to the Coast Guard or the federal government or anyone but their shareholders in any way…in these wonderful days of corporate deregulation, the only thing British Petroleum has to answer to is it’s conscience…and oh man, don’t even get me started on that one…
Check the last line of the last e-mail and see that even the hiring agencies that contract with these parasites find that “BP is evil”
Read on and then visit the site for all the e-mails:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Urgent question
Date: Wed, July 14, 2010 10:39 am
To: XXXX @level1dmc.com
Barkway checking in with you again.
I had been scheduled to start working for an oil spill cleanup contractor but then got delayed when they called all of us to say that BP had changed the terms of the contract with them and was ordering them (as well as ALL other hiring agencies) to pay workers less money and with no more per diems, or housing offers (some were offering housing).
From: XXX @level1dmc.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 10:48 PM
Subject: RE: Urgent question
It made us sick when we heard. The coast guard is under what the federal govt calls ESF (Emergency Support Function) the coast guard is just monitoring the spill. Unfortunately the Govt has no say in the matter. BP is evil.
South Eastern Regional Director
Visit us at WWW.LEVEL1DMC.com
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen on Sunday evening agreed to allow a cap to continue to block the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, despite the discovery of oil or natural gas seeping from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico at a location away from the well.
But Allen ordered BP to report any discoveries of future seeps within four hours and to follow more stringent testing rules as the testing continued. Given the current observations from the test, including the detected seep a distance from the well and undetermined anomalies at the well head, monitoring of the seabed is of paramount importance during the test period,” Allen said in a letter to Bob Dudley, chief managing director of BP. “As a continued condition of the test, you are required to provide as a top priority access and coordination for the monitoring systems, which include seismic and sonar surface ships and subsea ROV and acoustic systems…
Falling once again into the category of who is running this show:
Scientists have expressed concern about a seep and possible methane seen near BP’s busted oil well and both of these could be signs of that much feared leak, the reason BP is doing all these integrity tests. According to the source, the government is demanding more testing, but BP is refusing to comply. If a leak is occurring, this means the integrity of the piping in the well has been compromised and the oil will be much more difficult to contain, thus compromising severely BP’s July 27th shareholders meeting. If there is a leak, maintaining the cap’s seal could make the leak much worse and possibly render the relief wells ineffective, yeah…BP’s final solution a solution no more.
BP refused comment except to say, “we continue to work very closely with all government scientists on this,” despite not listening to the scientists or the government, on this.
Interestingly enough, BP held a conference earlier on Sunday, “We’re not seeing any problems, at this point, any issues with the shut-in,” said Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, referring to the closure of the well. Because of that, Suttles said, “we’ll continue to leave the well shut in.”
The Federal Government had previously stated they wanted piping hooked up to the cap to funnel oil to waiting barges on the surface. Whereas BP was originally in agreement with this plan, they made in about-face this Sunday morning, instead opting to simply keep the well sealed. So why the suddenly diverging plans? One explanation could be – hooking the well up to those pipes would finally provide the government with the exact flow rate from the oil well, something which would be used to give an accurate count as to how many barrels BP has allowed into the Gulf; this count would then be used to determine BP’s total fine.
As long as there is no count, there is no exact fine; it is something that can be negotiated.
So, much as BP is now bucking federal scientists regarding the possibility of a leak by denying it and refusing more testing, previously they had changed course on the piping which would relieve pressure inside the cap, but would also give that flow count they don’t want got.
The AP article goes onto state that Thad Allen of the Coast Guard will be making the next decision on what to do with testing the well, but if BP is not listening, it is unclear how he is supposedly making the next decision.
Yeah, that last sentence doesn’t make sense to me either…
So it finally gets to the mainstream news…well about time.
Check out this conversation between Anderson Cooper and Fred McCallister, where Fred discusses trying to get skimmers to the Gulf for over a month. BP isn’t helping, they don’t want skimmers, why? Dispersants submerge the oil, limit liability by hiding the size and spreading the costs of cleanup over time. The safest way to remove oil? Take it off the surface and get rid of it…but with dispersants, this can cause the oil and residue to be be rolling around the Gulf for the next twenty years, not to mention that other damage the chemicals in Corexit is causing.
BP, once again…screwing the gulf for the protection of their company and stockholders at the expense of the people.
The United States Government, once again…allowing it to happen, by continuing to let BP run this show…
Apparently, the police in Louisiana can wear their uniforms off duty…so when they work security for British Petroleum and order photographers and other people off the beaches, and they are in uniform it sure makes for some crazy conflicts and also a whole lotta misleadin’…
Long story short, those sons of bitches at BP are still keeping the press out, still interfering in the information and still wasting a lot of time…
Is this company one of the four horseman?
And if they are…did Jindal’s prayer day, instead of helping to seal the well, did he accidentally just do more to spur on Armageddon?