Aronberg demands BP, others set up $1 billion oil spill fundby Dara Kam | May 5th, 2010
State Sen. Dave Aronberg is demanding that BP and two other corporations involved in the April 22 oil rig blast threatening the Gulf Coast shoreline set up a $1 billion escrow account for the state’s recovery costs.
Aronberg, a Greenacres Democrat who is running for attorney general, is chairman of the Senate Military Affairs and Domestic Security Committee that deals with emergency preparedness.
He said the state’s focus on BP for recovery costs needs to be expanded to include Deepwater Horizon rig owner and operator Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton.
The $25 million BP gave Florida to cover immediate clean-up costs “is by no means sufficient,” Aronberg wrote in a letter to Crist asking for the escrow account.
“We are looking at financial consequences of devastating proportions, to say nothing of the potential costs to our wildlife and environmental damages.
While we ready our shoreline as best we can, I urge you to call upon each of these companies to take greater financial responsibility and commit more dollars than the initial pledge by BP,” Aronberg wrote.
Halliburton was performing cement work on the well less than a day before the blast.
“This is especially alarming since Halliburton was also the cementer on the well that suffered a huge blowout last August off the coast of Australia. Tens of thousands of barrels of oil leaked from that well over 10 weeks before it was finally capped. Although the investigation continues, the suspicion is that either the cementing process or the cement itself may have been at fault,” Aronberg wrote.