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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid