UPDATE: BP pledges 2-day turnaround on claimsby Dara Kam | May 6th, 2010
Attorney General Bill McCollum said that British Petroleum executives promised to pay claims within two days and agreed to put in writing their commitment to pay all costs associated with the massive oil spill circulating in the Gulf of Mexico.
McCollum and the attorneys general of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama yesterday pressed the oil giant to put on paper its pledge to fund damages for the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil blast still spewing hundreds of thousands of oil daily into the Gulf.
“BP has assured us it will do whatever it takes to make our states and their citizens whole, and I encourage them to continue working diligently to make the claims process expedient and efficient so our citizens and businesses can see immediate relief,” McCollum, running in a GOP primary for governor, said in a statement.
Federal law requires that business owners and others impacted by the oil spill file claims with the “responsible party” before pursuing other litigation.
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, is also demanding that BP do a better job handling claims and communicating with coastal businesses.
BP promised McCollum and the other attorneys general it would put in writing their commitment to cover all costs of the incident – which they are bound to do under federal law – “without regard to any potentially applicable
statutory caps on recoveries,” McCollum said in a statement.
BP gave the states $25 million each to help defray the costs of preparing for the spill and set up a toll-free number for claims, 800-440-0858.
McCollum and his colleagues also asked for the same commitment in writing from Halliburton and Transocean, the other companies involved in the drilling operation off the coast of Louisiana.