By South Florida Business Journal

Oil rig workers facing tough economic times as a result of the moratorium on deepwater drilling will get some help from BP plc.

The British oil giant said Friday it is creating a $100 million charitable fund to support unemployed rig workers.

The Rig Worker Assistance Fund will be administered through the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Foundation, which supports The Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

⿿This voluntary donation fulfills the commitment BP announced on June 16 to provide $100 million in assistance as a gesture of good will for the people of the Gulf Coast region,⿝ BP said in a news release.

On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Crist said BP would provide $7 million to the Northwest Florida Travel Council for tourism marketing and advertising. He also said heâ¿¿s requested another $43 million from BP for more marketing and advertising.

South Floridaâ¿¿s hotel industry doesnâ¿¿t seem to be suffering as a result of the spill. Occupancy and rates were mostly positive last week, according to Smith Travel Research.

Meantime, Florida officials said Thursday they will begin ⿿rightsizing⿝ the state⿿s response efforts to the oil spill.

⿿The capping of the well and progress toward permanent well-kill have reduced the threat of oil to Florida⿿s shores and sensitive environments,⿝ said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael W. Sole, said in a news release. ⿿We will now begin the cautious and measured rightsizing of protective measures to help Florida⿿s residents and communities start the road to recovery. However, boom will be redeployed as necessary.⿝

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010