BP pays off fishermen as oil spill destroys sea life

silhouette of grounded fishing boat

BP has cut checks for thousands of fishermen as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has closed vast areas of ocean and continues to spread. Flickr photo.

The BP oil leak has sidelined fishermen as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico rages. BP has been cutting checks to settle claims for a Gulf fishing industry in limbo, but those payments are a drop in the bucket compared to the oil spill cleanup costs BP has incurred so far.

About 65 miles of Louisiana coastline has been fouled by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 as of Monday. An effort to plug the BP oil leak with a “top kill” may occur Wednesday and Congress is debating BP’s oil spill liability. Meanwhile, BP isn’t making any friends in Washington as lawmakers expressed outrage at the fact that the oil company continued to use a toxic oil spill dispersant despite directives to find an alternative.

BP oil leak runs fishermen aground

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 has resulted in the closure of a vast expanse of ocean to commercial and recreational fishing. CNNMoney.com reports that more than 23,000 workers and business owners along the Gulf Coast have filed claims for lost income. BP has cut checks for payday cash on 9,000 claims worth $27.8 million so far. Fishing boat captains have been receiving $5,000 a month and deck hands $1,000. Damon McKnight,owner of Super Strike Charters, which operates three boats in Venice, La., told CNN that he was expecting to pull in $50,000 a month during the gulf fishing season’s May to August peak.

Oil spill liability trust fund

BP recently said that oil spill cleanup costs have exceeded $350 million, or $16 million per day, since the April 20 explosion that sank BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. A law passed in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska makes BP responsible for oil spill cleanup costs. But the law sets a $75 million limit on other kinds of damages, such as lost wages. As economic losses to the Gulf Coast appear likely to far exceed that amount, the Associated Press (http://search.yahoo.com/404handler?src=news&fr=404_news&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fpersonalmoneystore.com%2Fmoneyblog%2Fwp-admin%2Ftools.php%3Fpage%3Dview-broken-links&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.yahoo.com%2Fs%2Fap%2F20100503%2Fap_on_bi_ge%2Fus_oil_spill_liability) reports that several Democratic senators introduced legislation Monday to raise the oil spill liability limit to $10 billion. The federal government also maintains an Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund supported by oil industry fees. It can make a total of $1 billion in payouts per incident to individuals, businesses and governments.

Oil spill cleanup outpaced by BP oil leak

The BP oil leak has reached landfall on about 65 miles of Louisiana shoreline, governor Bobby Jindal said Monday. The New York Times reports that Jindal implored the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately approve a plan to build artificial barrier islands out of sand to hold back the oil. Estimates of the quantity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 range from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s 6.3 million gallons to a BP worst case estimate of 82.7 million gallons based on a figure given by a senior BP executive to members of Congress in a closed-door briefing on May 4.

Oil spill dispersant highly toxic

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 cleanup hit a snag Monday as government officials sparred with BP over its failure to meet response effort deadlines. BP was also in hot water for refusing to discontinue use of a toxic dispersant to break up the oil slick. BP said there were not less toxic alternatives, and it prepared a top kill to plug the ruptured well. Another New York Times article reports that since the BP oil leak began more than a month ago, BP has applied about 700,000 gallons of the dispersant in the gulf — the largest quantity of dispersant ever used on an oil spill in United States waters. BP is  hoping that the top kill — pumping heavy liquid into the well — could possibly stop the leak on Wednesday.

Other recent posts by bryanh