With its hopefully miraculous new cap in place over the Deepwater Horizon well, BP is testing today to see if it will capture all the oil until a relief well can be completed. After nearly three months of tens of thousands of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico every day, it's hard to believe that the worst of it might really, actually be over.
For the families directly affected by BP's disaster, the worst has only begun. BP has been touting its claims process for fishermen and others put out of work by the Deepwater Horizon. You can get forms in three different languages! Darryl Willis will tell you all about it! Up to six months of relief on the way!
But in Louisiana nearly 40,000 are seeing their payments from the company reduced because, as workers in a self-employment, cash economy, they can't prove their losses to BP's satisfaction. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
BP said it soon will begin adjusting claims downward based on "the seasonal nature of fishing activities, which will also result in a decrease in payments,'' Ms. Nichols wrote. Clearly the company's interest is in minimizing the amount it will have to pay to families left without their livelihoods in the wake of BP's environmental disaster. BP is also refusing to consider business expenses, such as loan payments on fishing boats, she noted.
Meanwhile, the New York Times spills some serious ink on BP's safety record -- maybe "danger record" would be a better way of putting it.