This is another in the series of posts leading up to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election November 6, 2012.
With 227 Days till the general election to be held 6 November 2012
I present to you Obama Accomplishment #226.
Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill
Used moral authority to do what was already in law.
Following the Exxon Valdez incident, Congress enacted the Federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (the “OPA”) that extended liability by imposing strict liability on responsible parties for certain economic losses in navigable waters and along shorelines.
The legislation involved a consolidation of previous piecemeal legislation, and established the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that is authorized to pay out to a maximum of $1 billion per incident. The fund is financed by taxes on crude oil bought by U.S. refineries and on petroleum products imported, consumed, and warehoused in the United States.
So the Administration used the power of the media and the environmental left to “persuade” Transocean and BP to create a minimum of $20 billion to the fund over 40 months. By law Transocean and BP were liable for a cap of $75 million per responsible party per incident. Quite a difference than the $20 billion the responsible party was required to pay Under Section 2704(c)(i) of the OPA. By convincing Transocean and BP that they would be found grossly negligent and thus the $75 million cap would disappear and BP cried uncle under the weight of the mighty Obama. But providing ”speedy” compensation was never going to happen.
Why, because of the bloated bureaucracy created by the administrator of the BP trust fund Mr. Kenneth Feinberg.
Bottom line for most claimants, Mr Feinberg used a take it or leave it settlement system. And if a claim was paid out that was the final determination and claimants could not pursue no further actions against Transocean or BP. In fact the claims process is continuing today. In fact no all those with approved claims have received all agreed to compensations.
Since assuming responsibility for claims filed with the GCCF, the Transition Process has
continued processing and paying claims. According to Mr. Juneau, “Not a single business day has gone by since March 8, 2012, when payments to claimants have not been made.” From March 8, 2012, through March 21, 2012, the Transition Process issued payments to 1,096 claimants, for a total of $26,993,189.98. Of those, 619 are claimants who had not accepted an offer and submitted a Release on or before 11:59 p.m. on February 26, 2012. The Order directed the Transition Process to pay such claimants 60% of their final offer, without requiring the claimant to sign a Release. The 619 claimants receiving 60% of their final offers have received payments totaling $19,623,125.10.These claimants receiving 60% now will never lose the right to get the 40% balance of their final offer. They may even get more if they are a member of the settlement class and receive an offer that is greater than the 40% from the Court Supervised Settlement Program. Indeed, the Court’s Order allows these claimants to receive the greater of the 40% balance of the GCCF’s offer or the offer from the Court Supervised Settlement Program, in exchange for signing a Release. If a claimant is not part of the settlement process or opts out of that process, the claimant may receive the 40% at that time, after signing a Release.
This was probably more a grand play to stop drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to implement the failed “green energy” policy the Obama Administration is so enthusiastic about. Not to mention the resulting rise in gasoline prices that have occurred at the pump since the spill. Speedy not so much. But moral authority used for good and not evil. Thank you Mr President.
Obama Accomplishment #226