BY KENNY BELFORD
The Republicans may have made a giant mistake. Many prominent Republicans are on record as BP sympathizers, some even issuing public apologies to BP for being asked to pay for the damages they caused. These Republicans have taken the side of a foreign corporation – one of the world’s most profitable corporations – that caused the greatest ecological disaster in our nation’s history. They took their position over the interests of American citizens who, through no fault of their own, are being financially devastated by BP’s disaster.
We’ve heard many Republicans rant and rail about the actions taken by President Obama requiring BP to place $20 billion in a damage fund. We’ve seen Republicans rally to block changing the liability of oil companies from $75 million to $10 billion, still only a fraction of what this disaster will cost.
It’s clear which side Republicans are on, and it isn’t the American citizens.
BP is filling the airwaves with their warm, fuzzy TV ads claiming they’re “going to make things right” for those impacted. One of their TV ads even boasts of how they’re accelerating efforts to resolve claims by impacted Americans.
But today a news story has surfaced indicating their real actions are somewhat different than their self-promoting slick media blitz. The news story shows what their “accelerated” plan is. The headline of the story: “BP Cuts Claim Payments to Half Of The Suffers.”
According to the report, BP is combing through the claims searching for undotted “i’s,” any small detail they can use to reject, or drastically reduce the amount of the claim. So far 40,000-plus claims have been reduced or denied. Those financially impacted need their compensation now, not later.
The small business owners don’t have the deep pockets filled with billions of dollars like BP. They don’t have massive lines of credit established with financial giants like BP. They’re small businesses, relying on a steady stream of cash to meet payroll, bank notes, pay vendors and suppliers. The BP caused disaster has dried up their earning capabilities until the situation is resolved, which will probably be years, perhaps decades, or maybe even never.
For decades the tobacco industry used this technique to mitigate their risks. They delayed, stalled, and manipulated the legal system to drag out victim damage claims for years and years until many simply died and the claim dissipated. It seems BP is following this same strategy, at the expense of Americans, with the support of Republicans.
Here’s a link to the story. There is a short YouTube video at the bottom that illustrates how BP’s stall and deny strategy is being employed.
– Kenny Belford lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer