June 13th, 2010
09:29 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama to push BP to set up escrow fund to pay damage claims


A worker hired by BP helped to clean the beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana late last week. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will push BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at their meeting Wednesday to create a BP-funded escrow account that will pay for a damage claims process administered by an independent third party, a White House official told CNN on Sunday.

"The president will make clear that he expects, and that if necessary will exercise his full legal authority to ensure, that BP sets aside the funds required to pay individuals and businesses damaged by this massive spill," the White House official said on condition of anonymity.

In addition, the official said, the plan would call for the money set aside by BP to be "paid out under fair, efficient, and transparent procedures administered by an independent third-party panel established just for this purpose."

–CNN's Dan Lothian contributed to this report.

Filed under: BP • Energy • President Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. gg

    lucky bush and cheney are not in power they would have payed halliburtion tax payer money to clean up there own mess

    June 13, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Great idea. If BP goes broke he is making sure that the people and the animals that need, and will need help for years to come, are taken care off.
    I wouldn't buy BP gas right now for all the oil in the Gulf!

    June 13, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Larry

    It's great to have a President with a brain for a change.

    This is a smart move.

    June 13, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. mike

    there is an old saying you can't drain blood out of a rock the same
    goes for BP if they can't stop the leak the problem will be more
    money then BP can handle there should be an oil fund tax that is
    paid by the oil companies four the clean that will continue to be
    a problem in the gulf for years to come this will stop the money paid out in courts who is going to pay the bill and the money should be handle by an out side source that will oversee the use of the money with no influence from the oil companies this way they cannot stop funding by lobbying government

    June 13, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. trying2save

    Wish the president had done the same thing with big banks e.g like wells fargo, who destroyed millions of American families by their selfish and reckless behavior in mortgage lending process. Just what BP did.

    June 13, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Dina

    Let's also hear that there wil be NO Cap on what the companies will pay. They should pay whatever it takes.

    June 13, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. phoenix86

    Obama should ask BP for a $980 billion stimulus package, then a $1 trillion dollar health care package...oh yea, BP's not stupid.

    June 13, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Keith in Austin

    Barry Soetorro at the helm of leadership! What a joke!! Bozo's strategy: Demand that BP sets up an escrow account and blame Bush!

    Still, the oil spews like government spending and Barry's federal red tape just makes things worse! This president doesn't have a clue on what true leadership truly is!

    June 13, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. jeff

    Where are all the movie stars that should be raising funds for the animals if this was 4 years ago they would be screaming bloody murder. But then we can continue to blame the last administration. At what time is Obama "keep the change" going to actually become the president 2011? 2012? This is the worst thing that has happened to our nation and all the government does is HURRY UP BP AND DO MORE. The leader of our nation hasnt even met with BP but hey he can kick some "ass" right.....

    June 13, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Craig Marker

    Nationalize BP US Operations..... that's the way to really ensure that the work gets done, and will send a message to other oil companies that the US means business!

    June 13, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Sharon

    BP needs to keep our Govt from becoming involved in the payouts–this Govt wants to benefit from the interest on the monies–therefore–THEY WANT THE MONEY!

    BP needs to make sure the payout is done–leave out the 3rd parties–allow BP to hire more staffers. BP has to be held accountable and paying via a 3rd party! The stockholders of BP need to make sure monies are going were they said they would go-


    WHY WON'T THEY ALLOW THE SHIPS AND THEIR SUPPLIES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES TO HELP IN THE CLEAN UP PROCESS? The ships are ready to move in but because of a old Maritime Law–The Jones Act (which President Bush did waive in the Katrina disaster)–this Congress–this President has said–they won't lift it-

    Hope BP is wise enough to know how our Congress doesn't work for the people and a third party vendor appointed by the same people won't be what the average American citizen needs.


    June 13, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. thor

    Oh great another fund set aside like social security where the government can raid and replace with IOU'S until they can borrow from the Chinese to pay the bills when they come due.But some kind of account needs to be set aside to help people get through damage done to them by ruthless behavor by companies motivated by greed. So it's probably not a bad idea.

    June 13, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Charlie

    The U.S. government should match BOP dollar for dollar as they are equally responsible. One thing this spill does prove is that all of the regulations in the world won't prevent disasters.

    June 13, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Sorensen

    Unless they make that escrow fund 150 BILLION $ I am afraid they
    are wasting their time.
    1. The total damages for this disaster are absurdly underestimated
    by everybody.
    2. The clean-up alone will take more than 10 years and cost over
    25 Billion $.
    3. The legal bills from dead businesses and dead people will
    continue almost forever and run into at least 30 Billion $.
    4. The market cap/shareholder value of BP will end up at less that
    15% of original value and cost more than 120 Billion $.
    5. The top management and Board are going to be fired, and the
    majority of the 2nd line management are going to run away. Who
    in his/her right mind will want to waste the next 10 years of the
    career losing lawsuits in America?
    6. The morale in the rest of BP will go to hell, and the company will
    start to crater faster and faster. Succes and failure are self-
    7. This means-of course- that there is no way BP can ever pay for
    much of all this, so some kind of bank-ruptsy is inevitable.
    8. Exxon, Shell, Chevron, etc. are probably working hard on the
    strategy of the potential firesale at say, 15 cents to the dollar for
    whatever assets will remain.
    This is a sad and criminal end to a period of time (Bush/Cheney)
    where the "government" would allow "self-regulation" of almost all
    industries they were friendly with. (Oil, Finance,etc.etc.)
    As usual, all the "little" people lose, while the top 1% now controls
    more than 80% of all the assets.
    Obama has a lot of work to do.

    June 13, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Kathryn Harlan

    Florida has ONE MILLION UNEMPLOYEED, why is the President giving BP the authority to hire "volunteers" to clean up their mess??? In this economy no one should be allowed to VOLUNTEER !! The President's lack of leadership and BP's efforts to fix this mess on the cheap are disgusting!!!!!!

    June 13, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Pkm

    Mr obama do not back down make them pay no time limit no gop people on the panel they will get kick backs

    June 13, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    BP can more than afford this. It has thousands of oil and natural gas extraction operations around the world.

    – BP is ARCO on the West Coast.
    – In Germany and Luxembourg, it is Aral
    – It is Castrol motor oil
    – It has an aviation fuel arm; it has stores, travel centers and restaurants affiliated with its fueling stations.

    Lastly, BP is the fourth-largest corporation in the world. It has the deep pockets to pay for the clean-up and compensate those business devastated by its negligence.

    June 13, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Jon

    Stop that damn hole now, Mr. President! There are plenty times to get compensation from BP down the road! You are no longer a community organizer for this horrible oild spill!

    June 13, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    BP has a terrible safety record: According to OSHA, between June 2007 and February 2010, 2 BP-owned oil refineries in Texas and Ohio were responsible for 97 percent (829 of 851) of willful safety violations by oil refiners between June 2007 and February 2010.

    In the last 3 years, it has had the highest number of safety violation: 760. The company with the next-highest number of violations had 8. Exxon, over that same three-year period, had 1.

    BP values money over everything, so the only way to get them to change their ways is to hit them in the pocketbook. That means making them pay for the spill clean-up and compensate all the people and industries devastated by their actions. (Translation: Ensure that the market “corrects itself”.)

    I think this should include garnishing the wages of the top executives, so they truly feel the impact of what they've allowed to happen.

    June 13, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. Jim El Paso Tx

    If I was BP I'd tell Obama to shove it! The Feds are just as responsible for letting this mess get out of hand as anybody. NOW he wants to get all involved...what a waste.

    June 13, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. br8dbnch

    Question is will repubs say NO? will se waht side they are on...American people side or oil companies?

    June 13, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |