By Houston Business Journal

One day after the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that tar balls from the Deepwater Horizon are washing up on Texas shores, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a request for BP Plc to provide $25 million for clean-up efforts.

⿿While we do not yet know ⿿ and cannot yet calculate ⿿ the ultimate damage this ecological and economic disaster will inflict upon the state of Texas, we do know that BP will be held fully financially accountable for the costs incurred by the taxpayers when state and local governments engage in clean-up and response efforts,⿝ Abbott said in a statement. ⿿Equally important, BP will also be held responsible for the economic harm suffered by coastal businesses, fisherman, landowners, individuals and communities as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill.⿝

During weeks of meetings and conference calls, Abbott said his office has been repeatedly assured by BP (NYSE: BP) that it will cover any Texas clean-up efforts. Abbott formally made the request Tuesday morning to BP General Counsel Jack Lynch.

Abbott said he also requested that the federal government open claims offices in Texas for BPâ¿¿s $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility fund. The response was apparently favorable.

⿿I am confident that claims offices will be opened in the State of Texas in the next few weeks,⿝ Abbott said.

According to the General Land Office, which oversees Texasâ¿¿ response to oil spills, only five gallons of tar balls have washed up in Texas, which is not enough to warrant any beach closings. The only mention in Abbottâ¿¿s statement about preventive measures was that they were ongoing.

As of July 5, BP Plc said it has spent $3.12 billion on the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.

Shares of BP soared by nearly 9 percent Tuesday in the wake of an analyst upgrade.

The Houston Business Journal is providing continuous coverage of the Gulf oil spill.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010