Saturday, July 31, 2010

BP's WilmerHale & Rig Worker Fund

The AP reported:

BP says it has picked a charitable foundation in Louisiana to administer a $100 million fund for oil workers struggling because of a federal moratorium on deepwater drilling.

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

The American Bar Association Journal noted WilmerHale's helping BP with White House negotiations. It included assistance for rig workers, unemployed due to the drilling moratorium.

BP was able to structure the deal to limit claims attributable to the moratorium after successfully arguing that it shouldn’t be liable for a decision of the president, the Wall Street Journal says. It also was successful in rebuffing demands that it pay to restore the Gulf to conditions better than before the oil spill.

Jamie Gorelick earned her fee.

Steve Rinehart, a BP spokesman, said in a statement earlier this week that BP is not legally liable to compensate for job losses caused by the moratorium, though it did set up the $100 million fund as a goodwill gesture.
The rig worker fund is as clear as the Unified Command's use of dispersants. Public comments don't jibe with back room deals.

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