Washington (CNN) - BP has reached an agreement with the federal government to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to pay for claims in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, President Barack Obama announced at the White House on Wednesday. The amount does not represent a total cap on the amount the oil giant may ultimately have to pay, the president said.
Obama's announcement came at the conclusion of a lengthy White House meeting between top administration and BP officials.
The $20 billion fund will be administered by an independent third party, Obama said. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg - who oversaw the compensation fund for victims of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks - will oversee the claims process, he added.
The fund "will not supersede individuals' or states' rights to present claims in court," he said. BP, he asserted, will remain liable for the environmental disaster in the Gulf.
BP has also voluntarily agreed to create a $100 million fund for the purpose of compensating oil rig workers now unemployed as a result of closure of other deepwater rigs after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, Obama said.
repubs are rolling over for these guys!
I understand all news with BP is big today, but why is there no coverage of the politicians lack of caring for all the unemployed folks and stopping their benefits ????
THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!!!!!!
Everyone needs to agree that this is a great accomplishment. The people of the gulf coast region will be compensated for their losses, and BP will be held accountable for their actions! Additional guard troops and resources are being sent to add to the response from the coast guard and the EPA.
I just want to thank everyone who is working very hard to contain this horrible disaster. It is a thankless job.
That sounds reasonable.
If they cut out payments to our republican lawmakers, that fund could be bigger.
Thank you Mr. President! To all of you who thought he was not tough enough (ala bush or those pesky rethugs) last night at least he got something out of BP. The previous president couldn't have put this meeting together much less get BP to cough up money and get things done!
BTW – just heard that bachman is upset about how the administration is treating BP. Really, witch? Really?
CNN – you are looking for ideas I have one. Take bachman, the shrilla' from Wasilla, fiorina, angle, whitman and nikki and plug the oil hole with them. They are useless but have mouths big enough to cover the hole and, the best thing yet, they won't be missed by anyone.
Thank you, Mr. President! And Sniffit, I completely agree with you about rolling back the Bush tax cuts early!
I said that before. P$A$Y$E MORE M€O€N€E€Y.
Even Allen my long time body, keep gathering his extended Familly and friends around the World, pretending they are still living in the RECALL (4) States/ Oil-trouble areas to claim the $200 Billion Dollars.
Well, we will see in few days, the populations of the recall(trouble) States will be TRIPLE.
I am very proud of President Obama's negotiations with BP. I know it is very popular right now to criticize the President's handling of this disaster but let's be realistic! There has never been a disaster of this scope before so all decisions have to be made in real-time. Could any of us done any better? If you could have, then maybe you have a right to complain, otherwise, shut up!
The Republicans are flat out opposed to the escrow fund and lifting the liability cap against BP. Even after this they are going to bat for big oil. Obama stands with the American people and conservatives are standing with BP and want to stick the American taxpayer with the bill for this oil spill. Simply OUTRAGEOUS!
Ring...Ring..., hello scammer!
Good Job, never stop believing in you Mr President.
But what ever you do or say is never good enough for some.
You are doing a great job .We love you !
Checkmate to the President.
He meets with the Chairman of the Board ... who the CEO reports to ... he cuts out the middleman and secures 26 times the $75M the liability limit that some Republican Senators and House members were defending.
The only problem for the President is that he continues to depend on attorneys and place them in positions of authority. Our technical nation requires problem solving ... not ambulance chasing lawyers.
I will be far more comfortable with professionals with engineering degrees and MBA degrees are in charge. These are people that have problem solving and financial discipline in their DNA.
Instead of a lawyer heading up MMS, we should have an engineer that can do some heavy lifting.
Can anyone imagine George Bush, John Mccain or Sarah Palin standing up to the BP execs and getting this kind of response?
Perhaps the BP bigwigs finally realized that their paid GOP lackeys don't control things like they used to.
It is abundantly clear that BP was (and is) going to pay for all the costs, and they have been very public in making this commitment. Therefore, this escrow slush fund is unnecessary, and is being used for totally political purposes.
Who is managing it? Who is doling out the cash? How quick will the corruption begin? At least with BP signing the checks, the magnitude of inevitable corruption wouydl be much less than with the politicians...
Stacie: Well said!
It is refreshing to FINALLY have a President who calls it like he sees it.
I DO AGREE that too many lawyers are a problem. I have worked with many and they are too indecisive, anal retentive and poor leaders.
Other than that....Great Job President Obama
big of you BP
how about the dead oil rig workers
you are soooooo at fault for their deaths
All that money sounds just great , however the oil is still spewing into the ocean and one would like to see a plan of action now.
BP 's feet are being held to the fire and rightly so , but one can be certain once a proper investigation is being held , blame will shift to a few more people than just BP.
The rig was run by Americans , rules and regulations were set and implemented by the federal government .
An independent inquiry will also show the almost criminal lack of Oil Spill Response and lack of leadership from the White House.
Sorry to say , but Obama has failed miserably .
Good job boss Obama. The Republicans of course would prefer more corporate welfare and that the U.S. taxpayers get the bill. Ok to bail-out Big Oil but not ok to bail-out Wall Street to prevent collapse (unless Bush/Cheney does it).
Make it an even trillion and lets get Rush and his dittoheads to clean it up,they caused it.
Thanks, Fake Sniffit. Always amusing to see what you come up with.
First off, the President did not WOW me yesterday ... one of his worst speaches and it did not address or point out the flaws within the government that will probably never be corrected.
The ability to get BP to cough up $20 Billion is a good start. However, one needs to remember that these companies make Trillions in profit a year. They are throwing out a bone to console the US.
My problem with the speach last night is very simple ... if it is Obama's goal to help and assist these families, then dammit, do it. The government is willing to come forward with 17,000 National Guardsman to help ... do the math ... what an insult to the region and it shows how little government cares. This would probably equate to 8 people per stretch of beach mile to clean up. That is absurd and undoubtedly will have zero significant impact. I cannot understand why a government that hires approximately 600,000 Census workers to validate two questions cannot come up with a better plan.
If you really want to help this region out ... offer to pay $15/hr to another 300,000 people to work the coastline and spread them out around those communities to clean up, repair, and spend money to keep the small businesses alive that are being affected as well. Put these workers in large tent cities for a few months and throw some real manpower and money at the situation.
My god, the government spent 14.5 Billion on that census to ask two questions ... how many folks liver here and what race. The government needs to realize that they are the problem here ... if they even spend 50% of that putting people to work in the region to clean up and rebuild the environment (mangrove trees for example) then I would be greatful for Obama's efforts.
At the moment, President Obama is blowing smoke up everyone's keester because they have been slow to react and I personally do not think that they have the talent to assist ... it will take an army of people and alot of effort.
Our extorsionist in Chief. Thuggary apparently works with BP.
Thank you Mr. President! You're cool calm handling of this situation, I believe, was what was needed. You kept your cool and you didn't back down. Way to Go!! So glad I voted for you!!!