publicly criticizing BP Tuesday night for the way they've handled the
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama is meeting
with BP executives today at the White House to demand that
they pay for the damages the leak has caused.
spoke from the Oval Office last night calling this spill "the worst
environmental disaster America has ever faced" and
plans to tell BP Chairman Henric Svanberg to "set aside whatever
resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners
who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness."
in addition to the Oval Office speech and today's forthcoming meeting
with BP leaders, took a two-day trip to the Gulf of Mexico this week
to once again assess the damage done by this massive spill. The
president has decided that he wants BP to create
a fund that will pay the billions of dollars needed to clean
up the Gulf.
fund will not be controlled by BP," said Obama. "In order
to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and
timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an
independent, third party."
on a $4,300 per barrel fine and tens of thousands of barrels spilling
each day, estimates show that BP owes up to $9 billion in fines
for the oil leak, and these numbers are rising. Also, BP may be
losing out on a $7 billion deal with Devon Energy in an attempt to
buy Brazilian assets and may continue losing government contracts as
expanded production becomes "tougher to achieve as it draws more
scrutiny from regulators for new projects."
Siphoning operations had to stop temporarily due to
strike, so the drill ship Discoverer Enterprise isn't helping
BP's situation either. Before the delay, these drill ships were
collecting 15,000 barrels of oil a day. To make matters worse, shares
in BP have lost close to half their value since the spill started two
executives said they were actually looking forward to their meeting
with the president today saying, "We share the
president's goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible,
cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact."
amount of crude oil spilling
from the well, according to scientists, has increased by 50
percent and is leaking between a range of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels
per day. The oil has spread to and ruined 120 miles of U.S. coast
killing wildlife and seriously crippling the tourist/fishing
White House official said, "The president has authority under
existing law to assure that the legal obligations of the responsible
party have been satisfied. We are satisfied that the president can
use this authority to accomplish the purposes served by an escrow
fund and independent claims payment procedure."