Louisiana Losing Patience With BP, Government on Oil Spill Claims

Rob Bluey /

BATON ROUGE, LA — BP has yet to make a single payment from the highly publicized $20 billion claims fund negotiated by President Obama last month at the White House. The fund, which Obama hailed as a breakthrough, is supposed to provide $5 billion by the end of the year to those impacted by the oil spill.

The Pelican Institute for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in Louisiana, reports that while BP has paid $162.7 million in claims since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, that money is not part of the Victim Compensation Fund, managed by Obama’s former pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.

Patience is wearing thin in Louisiana, which faces the dual economic impact of Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium and devastating toll on fishermen from the oil-infested waters.

Feinberg doesn’t expect to start fulfilling the June 16 pledge until next month at the earliest. With $5 billion earmarked for 2010, that means he would be doling out more than $30 million per day through the end of the year.