June 9th, 2010
10:09 AM ET

Oil response team demands BP transparency

Adm. Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard commandant overseeing the response to BP's oil spill, sent a letter to Chief Executive Tony Hayward demanding more information on compensation provided to people affected by the disaster.

Allen plans to meet with BP's senior claims team on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

"We need additional information to assess how well the process is meeting the critical needs of individuals, families and businesses whose livelihoods are being impacted by the spill," wrote Allen, the National Incident Commander in charge of the clean-up.

It was unclear, from Allen's letter, where the meeting would take place and whether Hayward would be attending.

In reference to the meeting, Allen wrote, "We need complete, ongoing transparency into BP's claims process including detailed information on how claims are being evaluated, how payment amounts are being calculated, and how quickly claims are being processed."

BP spokesman Mark Salt responded to the letter in an e-mail to CNNMoney: "We are focused on having a quick and efficient claims process and always looking to improve what can be a complex operation. We will ensure that Admiral Allen's requests are implemented to improve the process as soon as possible."

BP has said that it will compensate anyone whose business has been impacted by the spill. But the response has been sluggish, partly because of the perception that filing a claim is a cumbersome and inefficient process that's more trouble than it's worth.

Alabama governor Bob Riley said there are 1,000 charter boats from his state not operating because of the spill, but only 74 of them have filed claims to BP. As a result, Alabama officials announced on Tuesday that they're launching a program to help affected workers get the money they're entitled to.

The damages stem from the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which exploded and sank on April 20 off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers. Since then, the oil well has spilled millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. The Louisiana coast has been hit the hardest by the oil slick, and tar balls have washed ashore as far away as the Florida Panhandle.

Since the explosion, BP has spent over $1 billion related to the response. Estimates for the total cost range from $3 billion to $40 billion.

In Florida alone, the oil spill could cost up to $10.9 billion and up to 195,000 jobs could be lost, according to one of the more dire forecasts, from Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

Hayward has been summoned to testify about the spill before the Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 17.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Glynn Chevallier

    The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is bad enough, but having the impotent commercials with Tony Hayward air so much on television has added insult to injury.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Stephen Walter

    This disaster is Beyond Forgiveness. This corporation should no longer exist. It should be gutted and all their resources be redeployed to end and contain this distater. This is the only thing the other oil companies will understand, and maybe have Tony do his next commercial in an orange jump suit.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Steve Real

    The US Supreme Court will give all advantage,
    in litigation, in favour of British Petroleum
    and overturn any and all compensation package
    on a large scale to Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
    Conservatives voted for the US Supreme Court in favour of business
    and not for the little guys.
    So get used to living with your tar filled beaches
    for the rest of your lives, your childrens lives
    and their children's childrens lives
    just like Alaska has to live with the US Supreme Court overturning
    their just outcome.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Roy Gandy

    The President needs to put the U.S. Navy in charge and forget about preserving or collecting oil, but close it off completely with a modified white phosphorus explosive charge that will melt metal over the hole. It should not be a business decision on what is best to stop it, but just to stop it.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ryan

    Does anyone know if BP is selling the oil they have been able to collect from this well? If they are all of the money should go to the people and cleanup effort in the gulf.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 1814, this is an oil spill contingency plan that has a proven extraction process. If British Petroleum’s hired goons stop authorized U.S. press from filming on American Soil just one more time, History may repeat its self!

    THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS, by Johnny Horton: In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip, we took a little bacon and we took a little beans, we caught the bloody British in a town in New Orleans

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    We looked down the river and we see'd the British come, there must have been a hundred of'em, beatin' on the drums They stepped so high, and they made their bugles ring, we stood by our cotton bales, and didn't say a thing

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise if we didn't fire our muskets 'Till we looked 'em in the eye, we held our fire 'Till we see'd their faces well Then we opened up our squirrel guns And really gave 'em – well we

    Fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Yeah, they ran through the briars And they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes Where the rabbit couldn't go They ran so fast That the hounds couldn't catch 'em On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind And when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Yeah, they ran through the briars And they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes Where the rabbit couldn't go They ran so fast That hounds couldn't catch 'em On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Go Johnny!

    We posted a PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May 2010, this is a post oil spill contingency plan that has a proven Oil Spill extraction process and a patented Hydro-Carbon (emissions free) recycling technology.

    We’ve found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that will extract up to 98% of oil spill contaminants from the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It also includes contingencies for, re-processing all of the oil drenched materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities creating, long term renewable energy revenues for the community.

    We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to minimize their cost by denying problems exist. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies our plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on an oil spill they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. This cannot be allowed to go on any longer! We have four suggestions to remedy this situation.

    a. Executive orders from the president to keep BP within five miles of their oil rig to work on plugging their oil well.
    b. Executive orders from the president keeping BP completely out of the state containment and clean-up process.
    c. Executive orders from the president to keep BP paying for the affected business and state clean-up’s, on time.
    d. Find a way to approve pro-active plans rapidly and, for God’s sake, make decisions without first consulting BP.

    To date, BP has not plugged the well, contained the oil spill or even moved quickly to approve state contingency plans to keep oil off their shores. BP needs to plug their damned hole and pay the states for containment and clean-up operations.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Craig N. Barthelmas ge1re22@aol.com

    June 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |