Sink, McCollum step up pressure on big oil over spillby Dara Kam | May 6th, 2010
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum, likely to face off in the November gubernatorial election, are growing more frustrated with BP’s apparent lackadaisical approach to the impending financial crisis headed toward Florida in the shape of an oil blob.
Sink, a Democrat, sent a letter to the oil giant’s president of American operations Lamar McKay asking him to put her in touch with a BP exec who can make decisions.
McCollum, a Republican, and the attorneys general of the other Gulf states, want President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to create a federal-state work group to coordinate lawsuits coming out of the massive oil spill.
BP has given Florida $25 million to pay for initial clean-up and preparation costs and has pledged more.
“We recognize that BP has stated publicly that it will live up to its obligation to pay all claims arising from this environmental and economic disaster. We hope that BP will. But we would be remiss in our responsibilities if we did not consider the possibility that enforcement or litigation efforts may be required in the future,” McCollum and the AG’s of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi wrote in a letter today.
McCollum and Sink traveled several times to the oil spill command center in Mobile to make sure Florida’s needs are being addressed.
Sink, who said she there’s a communication breakdown among the top brass handling the disaster, is putting BP on the spot.
“I have been disappointed with the responsiveness of BP in meeting the requests of our state’s elected officials and communities as we attempt to maneuver through the potential economic and environmental disaster from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” she wrote to teh BP America prez. “While BP must be focused on working to stop the leak caused by your well, there is a clear lack of attention to the impact this oil spill is already having on Floridians’ livelihoods, and the potentially disastrous consequences for our communities who already were facing economic hardship.”