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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

BP officials meet with Nelson, LeMieux, Castor

BP executives are on Capitol Hill today had meetings with Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and George LeMieux. and Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

"All legitimate claims will be honored," BP chief executive officer Tony Hayward told reporters after meeting Nelson. "We understand absolutely the concern of the local communities and the people along the south coast."

Nelson said the company acknowledged a $75 million damage cap would be exceeded but did not say whether it would be responsible. “When I pressed him on was he going to be liable for the economic damages -- not the cleanup damages -- he said that will be something we will determine in the future. ... He dodged that question on the liability.”

Castor was even more blunt.

“I went to the briefing expecting to hear that BP is committed to paying for the cleanup, that they accept full responsibility and to hear that the situation is under control," she said in a statement. "Unfortunately, that is not at all what I heard. Their answers were vague and lacked specificity, and sometimes they didn’t have the answers at all. Their remarks were especially unsettling about progress staunching the flow and the volume of oil spilled. We must hold these companies accountable.

“I remain firm in my belief that this disaster demonstrates that oil drilling threatens our beaches, our environment and jobs in our region. We cannot and we must not allow drilling even one mile closer to our fragile shorelines.”

-- Alex Leary


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:33am]


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