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Title: While BP Seeks Escape Clause, Oil Remains on Beaches

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BP recently filed its lengthy response to the Oil Spill Settlement Administrator’s proposed changes to the settlement procedures claimants must follow to obtain any recovery for their loss of business revenue due to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf. Although the administrator Pat Juneau tried to accommodate every demand that BP has made for changes in the program, BP still wants more: they want an escape clause. Despite clearly agreed upon guidelines and terms for payment under the settlement agreement, BP ultimately wants final say on who will and who won’t be able to qualify for payment. Even for businesses that qualify under the terms agreed upon and certified by the court for payment, BP wants to be able to kick them out. No payment have been made to businesses under the agreement for many months now, but back when payments were made, BP was in the habit of appealing most of them. While most of the appeals were found invalid, there was still a substantial delay in payment. Under the terms now sought by BP, payments to businesses could take decades.

Meanwhile, the Florida Depart of Environmental Regulation continues to find stand oil on Florida beaches. See the FDEP report of February 27, 2014 with pictures of the oil mats still being found by clean-up workers. [Click to see PDF]

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  1. Wahoo says:
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    I believe this has been a planned and brilliant strategy by BP from the beginning. After the blowout, BP faced one of the largest PR nightmares that any corporation has ever faced. BP’s legal team also knew there would be thousands of lawsuits to follow and decided to fight and pool there legal resources into one basket. Hence, we are there today. BP’s public relations department put forth the initial plan to be contrite and promise everything, including what they knew they would fight to change later. This was their only option to save face on an international scale. The legal team BP put together knew they did not want thousands of lawsuits and juries so they pushed for the class settlement in the agreed to terms in order to have the 5th circuit court approve the agreement. Experience taught them that as in all large class settlements there would be both fraudulent and difficult to prove claims. Most small business don’t have all of the documentation that is now required to prove loses. For example, shrimpers, oyster fisheries, commercial fisherman, waiters and small restraunts.
    Now comes the brilliance of their strategy, bring back the PR department to exploit and exaggerate the claims that seem the most outrageous and publish them nationally to make their image seem to be the victim and at the same time begin to put public pressure of humiliation on the 5th circuit judges to change the agreed to settlement . Keep in mind that BP also knows that the longer this can be tied up in court, there will be some claimants that will die of the natural processes of life, thereby reducing the claims number since family members will not be able to ever collect, this may sound crazy, but 10 to 15 years of delay as we saw with the Exxon Valdez is a long time. Back to the point, in order to make the claims process seem more fraudulent , it is rumored that BP through 3rd parties had actually paid for the advertising of some of these attorneys that make the claims process look rediculous. Once again, hence we are where we are. BP has continuously tied up the legal process with multiple appeals, they now only have to worry about dealing with what they hope is an intimidated 5th circuit court, and the PR campaign continues to exploit and exaggerate in order to make BP look like the good guy.
    I guess the old adage of, never let the left hand know what the right hand is doing , may still be working.