Some of the questions posed by critics of President Obama’s Oval Office address revolved around the independently administered BP trust fund that would pay out claims to Gulf Coast residents. How much money would be in it? Who would be in charge? Does the government even have the authority to force this upon BP? We want specifics! Well, about sixteen hours later, we’re starting to get some specifics. It’ll start at $20 billion (although MSNBC reports that it won’t be capped), it’ll be administered by Kenneth Feinberg, the head of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, and the third question is moot although the White House maintains that it does have the authority because BP has agreed to comply regardless. More details will be available after Obama emerges from his meeting today with BP CEO Tony Hayward, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, and others.
BP Agrees to Set Aside About $20 Billion for Spill Claims [NYT]