BP announced yesterday that is has spent more than $3 billion on its ongoing oil spill relief efforts, $147 million of which has been used to settle 47,000 claims made by business owners. BP is estimated to have settled about half the claims made thus far by owners incurring property damage and/or business intrusion as a result of the ongoing spill, now in its 79th day. Scientists estimate that between 35,000 to 60,000 barrels are entering the Gulf each day.
This update came just before Texas attorney general Greg Abbott requested $25 million in funds from the oil giant to assist in his state’s clean-up efforts. Tarballs washed ashore in Texas over the weekend, meaning that now all of the five Gulf States have had oil reach their beaches.
“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,” Abbot said in a press release. “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.”
Abbot said he was working with BP’s General Counsel Jack Lynch to ensure that Texas communities were compensated for the damages and subsequent relief efforts. A formal letter of request for the $25 million was sent to the company yesterday.
“We will of course take a look at their proposal and work with the state on any impacts associated with the spill from the Deepwater Horizon accident,’’ Daren Beaudo, a BP spokesman, told BusinessWeek in an email, following the request. “Cleaning up oil spilled as a result of this incident is our responsibility.’’