More details re BP Oil Spill outcomes: financial and personal

Today there have been several important articles about the effects of the spill on individuals and businesses.  In the Washington Post, there are two stories about the financial payments made to ease the effects of the massive oil spill.  Six months after the spill, BP’s money is changing the gulf as much as its oil

Today, it is BP’s money, not its oil, that is most visibly altering the Gulf Coast. The company has been trying – on federal orders – to protect not just the water but the way of life there. But BP’s waterfall of cash has changed people’s lives profoundly.

The second one is an interview with attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is in charge of payments to business owners. Overseer of BP’s gulf oil spill fund gets his hands dirty

Today the Wall St. Journal commented on the many problems and discrepancies in the payouts. Bumpy Start to BP Fund Puzzles Gulf. From what I read, Feinberg truly has a thankless job, given the large number of undocumented claims.  I for one would not want to be in his shoes.

On the same topic, but with a different take — one that covers the personal stories and hardships– see the account in the Huffington Post, Oct. 20: Six Months later, An Oil Spill Spread Across the Gulf. The writer quotes my friend, Laura Olson, who has devoted years to studying the effects of both Hurricane Katrina and the Oil Spill on the local residents.

2 thoughts on “More details re BP Oil Spill outcomes: financial and personal

  1. I agree with you, I wonder why he does it. I am glad he is the one, if someone has to do it. He makes the point (in the Post interview) that the oil spill involved expected financial losses and not loss of life, which makes this case quite different.

  2. In his book “What is Life Worth?” Kenneth Feinberg alludes to funds such as these (Special compensation funds established by congress) should never be used again. I have to ask myself why then has he participated in the Virginia Tech, Wall Street Executive Compensation Fund, and now the BP Oil Spill Survivor Compensation Fund. Although two of the three latter funds were not established by congress, the principles are the same.

    I do not disagree with the funds and the need for compensation for the harm inflicted upon the environment or economic injury of those in affected communities. I would like to see what algorithm is used to conclude the values of those affected. Then follow that up with a conversation as to why all citizens in all disasters are not treated equally using the same financial calculation as established by Feinberg.

    On the surface it appears to me that Feinberg tries to establish financial equality by using the same mathematical equation for all people affected by a disaster but the federal government exacerbates the inequality within its system by establishing different standards for different people (hurricane vs. oil spill disaster survivor).

    Toney

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