Barack Obama's pound of flesh: $20bn compensation and no BP dividends

fireblade

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The payout is only the start of BP's pain. The White House is insistent that the $20bn (£13.5bn) is not a cap

Barack Obama wrung an apology from BP and an agreement for the oil company to make a $20bn down payment into a special compensation fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill today after a four-hour meeting at the White House.

The payout is only the start of BP's pain. The White House was insistent that the $20bn (£13.5bn) was not a cap, and the company's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, announced that BP would not be paying dividends this year. Svanberg's appearance at the White House was calculated to mollify public anger in America at the chief executive, Tony Hayward, who is due to testify on the spill before Congress tomorrow .

Obama said the $20bn – equivalent to two years of dividends for BP – may not be enough to honour all the economic claims against the company.

"This is not a cap," Obama told reporters. "The people of the Gulf have my commitment that BP will meet its obligations to them."

He said the fund would be administered by the lawyer who oversaw payments to victims of 9/11, Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg went on to serve as Obama's "pay tsar," setting salary limits for companies getting the most aid from a $700bn government bailout fund.

The deal was announced four hours after four BP executives – led by Hayward and Svanberg – marched up to the west wing, allowing the cameras of cable television networks a clear view of what was immediately dubbed a "perp walk" – the US slang term for a police parade of suspects.

Svanberg used the moment to try to repair BP's battered image in America by serving up an apology. He said BP would conduct its own investigations into the spill.

The deal appeared to settle the biggest concern for residents of the Gulf: that BP, which has already spent more than $1.5bn on clean-up costs, would not make good on claims from fishermen and other businesses put out of work by the spill.

Obama also extracted a commitment from BP for a $100m fund for oil rig workers put out of work by the moratorium on drilling – which the oil company had been resisting. Initially, Obama was expected to spend just 20 minutes in the meeting in the Roosevelt room, his personal first with BP executives since the gusher in the Gulf began 58 days ago.

But while White House and BP officials described the encounter as "constructive", it was clear there were contentious moments. "He is frustrated," said Svanberg. However, by the end of the meeting, Svanberg suggested that the White House and BP may for the moment have declared a truce, suspending the tough rhetoric administration officials have turned on the oil company.

"What has been clear today is that this administration and our company are fully aligned in our interest of closing the wells cleaning the beaches and caring for those who are affected," Svanberg said.

Barack Obama's pound of flesh: $20bn compensation and no BP dividends | Environment | The Guardian

BBC Focus Magazine | science, technology and the future



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Raven24

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I know it's oil and all that but isn't BP just a company like I don't know say BT for example. Obviously important but just a company no less. I don't look too deep at things like this so I've probably missed something obvious but I don't get how it's a double standard if it's BP's **** up....
 

Jackel

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The payout is only the start of BP's pain. The White House is insistent that the $20bn (£13.5bn) is not a cap

Barack Obama wrung an apology from BP and an agreement for the oil company to make a $20bn down payment into a special compensation fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill today after a four-hour meeting at the White House.

The payout is only the start of BP's pain. The White House was insistent that the $20bn (£13.5bn) was not a cap, and the company's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, announced that BP would not be paying dividends this year. Svanberg's appearance at the White House was calculated to mollify public anger in America at the chief executive, Tony Hayward, who is due to testify on the spill before Congress tomorrow .

Obama said the $20bn – equivalent to two years of dividends for BP – may not be enough to honour all the economic claims against the company.

"This is not a cap," Obama told reporters. "The people of the Gulf have my commitment that BP will meet its obligations to them."

He said the fund would be administered by the lawyer who oversaw payments to victims of 9/11, Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg went on to serve as Obama's "pay tsar," setting salary limits for companies getting the most aid from a $700bn government bailout fund.

The deal was announced four hours after four BP executives – led by Hayward and Svanberg – marched up to the west wing, allowing the cameras of cable television networks a clear view of what was immediately dubbed a "perp walk" – the US slang term for a police parade of suspects.

Svanberg used the moment to try to repair BP's battered image in America by serving up an apology. He said BP would conduct its own investigations into the spill.

The deal appeared to settle the biggest concern for residents of the Gulf: that BP, which has already spent more than $1.5bn on clean-up costs, would not make good on claims from fishermen and other businesses put out of work by the spill.

Obama also extracted a commitment from BP for a $100m fund for oil rig workers put out of work by the moratorium on drilling – which the oil company had been resisting. Initially, Obama was expected to spend just 20 minutes in the meeting in the Roosevelt room, his personal first with BP executives since the gusher in the Gulf began 58 days ago.

But while White House and BP officials described the encounter as "constructive", it was clear there were contentious moments. "He is frustrated," said Svanberg. However, by the end of the meeting, Svanberg suggested that the White House and BP may for the moment have declared a truce, suspending the tough rhetoric administration officials have turned on the oil company.

"What has been clear today is that this administration and our company are fully aligned in our interest of closing the wells cleaning the beaches and caring for those who are affected," Svanberg said.

Barack Obama's pound of flesh: $20bn compensation and no BP dividends | Environment | The Guardian

BBC Focus Magazine | science, technology and the future



:Jester::Jester:

Welcome to the pantomime.

who honestly hand on heart believes Barry Obama is the most powerful man in the world.
 

TheCheekyMonkey

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Welcome to the pantomime.

who honestly hand on heart believes Barry Obama is the most powerful man in the world.


hes a puppet, just like the one before, his dad, and the one before that, hes just black, and in the eyes of the other blacks in america, he`s the dogs, nutz, but he still the same as the last bloke.


anyway hopefully someone will point out that whilst hes kicking BP`s arse, he could maybe get some more money for the poor 20,000+ indian folk that that staple of american industry union carbide killed some 20 odd years ago in bhopal.

god, yanks, i hate em.


1. debt collectors
2. baillifs
3. tv licensing
4. people who dont indicate
5. yanks.


moved up a place on my hate-o-meter
 

2222

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This is just another way to make the money vanish and make people poor share price gone down no more pay outs for people that own the shares pensions have been affected and we still got the budget to come these people are worst than the mafia its all a con and the poor will loose more than any one cut backs credit crunch bank bail out all bullsh*t
and a lot of people know now even if they do own the media
 

Munkey

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anyway hopefully someone will point out that whilst hes kicking BP`s arse, he could maybe get some more money for the poor 20,000+ indian folk that that staple of american industry union carbide killed some 20 odd years ago in bhopal.

It's taken 20 years just to get them to court.

It's horrible to say but I hope that they're bathing in the stuff by the time the leak is plugged, if this wasn't in their back yard they wouldn't give a shit.
 

ManofScience

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his refering to them as 'British Petroleum' over the past few weeks was dispicable. like they don't use oil and it's none of their fault. what a fucking joke.
 

TheCheekyMonkey

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One of the worst things ive watched, theres a couple of documentarys about it, ones called "one night in bhopal" and i think seconds from disaster did an episode on it, and absolute travesty, caused by a major american company in an extremely poor part of the world, and its all down to budget cutting, to make a few dollars.


terrible.


Fookin Obama`s got a cheek, seriously, when its on there doorsteps they cry like babys.

I wouldnt wish it on anyone, but youve got to sit there and think, that if it did happen to someone, then it may as well happen to them.
 
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