News / USA

BP Faces Mounting Pressure Over Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response

BP CEO Tony Hayward, standing in the BP command center, updates reporters on efforts to clean up the catastrophic oil spill off the Louisiana coast (File Photo)
BP CEO Tony Hayward, standing in the BP command center, updates reporters on efforts to clean up the catastrophic oil spill off the Louisiana coast (File Photo)
William Ide

Pressure is mounting on BP as the energy giant faces a deadline to come up with a better plan to stop the oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico.  The White House says it will press the company this week to set up an account to make sure that legitimate claims filed by individuals and businesses hurt by the disaster are paid.  

On Friday, the U.S. government gave BP 48 hours to provide a better plan to contain oil leaking from its damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico and to speed up its recovery effort.

Nearly two months have passed since a fire aboard an oil rig triggered the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history.  BP has struggled to find ways to stop the flow of crude from the ruptured underwater well.  Scientists estimate that between 950,000 to 2.5 million barrels of oil have spilled into the Gulf.

Last Thursday, BP presented the U.S. government with a plan to double the amount of oil it is collecting.  But the company says that it will not be until mid-July that a more permanent cap on the well can be put in place.

U.S. President Barack Obama is stepping up government efforts to control the spill.  Over the weekend, he spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, and on Monday he is expected to make his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast since the crisis began. President Obama is scheduled to make a nationally televised address on the spill on Tuesday evening, after he returns to Washington.

On Wednesday, Mr. Obama will meet with BP executives at the White House.

Senior White House advisor, David Axelrod, told NBC television's "Meet the Press" program on Sunday that during the meeting, the president will press BP to set up an account to make sure it can pay damage claims to those who have been hurt by the spill. "We want to make sure that money is escrowed for the legitimate claims that are going to be made - and are being made - by businesses down in the Gulf, people who have been damaged by this.  We want to make sure that money is independently administered, so that they won't be slow walked on these claims," he said.

Axelrod said the administration's mission is to hold BP accountable in every appropriate way.  "I don't consider them a partner, I don't consider them - they are not social friends.  I'm not looking to make judgments about their souls.  I just want to make sure that they do what they are required to do," he said.

U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the head of the U.S. response to the spill, told the CBS television program "Face the Nation" on Sunday that there are concerns about the claims process. "This is not a core function of an oil producing company and they usually retain a third party contractor to do that.  It's not clear to us that there's the right transparency involved concerning the data - how long it takes to pay a claim.  So one of the things we're probably going to be talking about is an independent third party that could administer a fund to make sure it happens quicker," he said.

The British-based Financial Times newspaper reports that more than 160 class action lawsuits have been filed against BP over the damage caused by the spill.  The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating whether BP and other companies involved in the disaster broke the law.

Dozens of Democratic Senators say they will send a letter to the head of BP, calling on the company to set up a $20 billion account, administered by an independent trustee, to pay for cleanup and economic damages caused by oil spill.

In the letter, the lawmakers say the fund will do more to improve BP's public image than what they call a "costly public relations campaign."  They have asked for a response by Friday - a day after the company's chief executive, Tony Hayward, is scheduled to make his first appearance before a congressional committee.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid