June 9th, 2010
09:38 PM ET

Evening Buzz: BP Accused of Not Paying Claims

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/HEALTH/06/09/oil.spill.health.impact/t1larg.oil.spill.gi.jpg]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The federal government wants more openness from BP about how it is handling damage claims tied to the Gulf oil spill. Admiral Thad Allen, who's heading the government's response to the disaster, met with BP officials today.

"We need complete, ongoing transparency into BP's claims process including detailed information on how claims are being evaluated, how payment amounts are being calculated, and how quickly claims are being processed," Allen wrote in a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward.

Several fishermen and charter fishing businesses have told us they either haven't seen a dime from BP, or haven't gotten enough money for the bills that keep coming. However, BP did report as of Monday it has paid nearly $49 million to individuals and business impacted by the spill. The company also said it will issue a second round of payments to cover lost wages or profits, boosting the amount it will pay out to about $84 million. Still, many people say BP isn't providing enough cash. What's going on? We're trying to find out. Tonight we'll bring the store of Louisiana couple that owns a lucrative charter fishing business. They say BP is moving too slow and is putting up too much red tape.

We're also checking into BP's claim that it is "untrue" that clean up workers have been prohibited from speaking to the media. "BP fully supports and defends all individuals rights to share their personal thoughts and experiences with journalists if they so chose," COO Doug Suttles said today. We're digging into that claim and keeping them honest. We'll also have CNN's John Robert's interview with Suttles.

Plus, we'll give you an up close look at the oil cleanup efforts in Louisiana. Anderson took a boat tour of a devastated barrier island with Gov. Bobby Jindal, who's fed up waiting for BP to clean up the oil. Jindal and local officials are now testing vacuums to suck up the mess. Jindal calls it "Cajun ingenuity."

Meanwhile, the number keeps going up on the amount of oil being captured with the cap now in place. Today BP said more than 15,000 barrels were recovered from the ruptured well in a recent 24-hour period. That's 15 times the original estimate and triple the size of the later estimate of 5,000 barrels.

There's also the battle over whether there are underwater plumes. BP says they don't exist. Scientists say they do. Our Tom Foreman, who will play the part of science teacher, will have that angle tonight.

We also have Anderson's exclusive interview with some of the wives of the oil rig explosion. Hear how the inferno changed their lives and what they have to say about BP.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Dan Daigle

    Money, money, money. It's always about money. Attempts at stopping and not recovering should have been the focus from day one. Instead BP's goal has been to recover as much oil as they can even at the expense of the environment and the millions, yes millions of lives that are being affected. This is a world changing event because of the deep ocean currents. BP says it will pay all legitimate claims. There is no amount of money that can repair the damage that's been done. Why is our government not seeking help from the best minds in the world to stop this? Get real. Put a plug in it. It's not BP's problem it's ours. We are on the recieving end.

    June 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
  2. Sharron Baudier

    I would really like to know who is running this country BP of our President I am from the Gulf Coast area (New Orleans) and have been wondering why BP gets to make all the decisions, now it is down to controling the land and the press with determining that the press can not be on our beach and giving orders who they can speak to-where is the military.I am a realtor and have survived Katrina setback now we will all have to deal with this that has a long snowball effect to all of the citizens of the Gulf Coast- Someone besides BP needs to be in charge.

    June 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm |


    June 10, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  4. Michael Donovon

    I'm so sick & tired of hearing all the BS from the BP executives. Now, we're being told that the HD video of the pipe leak had to be flown to shore & that's why we're just now seeing it. They must have taken the scenic route. When is someone really going to take charge of this situation and start chopping the heads of those responsible? Our Gulf waters have been ruined! There's life that will never recover! Species are being wiped out! We got to come together, put aside all of our indifferences & take our country back from all the crooks in this govt. Why did they ever let offshore drilling begin? Someone in our govt. should also be held accountable because they had there hands in the cookie jar rIght along with BP.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  5. Lidia P

    Why dosn't President Obama get the federal govt. to mandate the BP Oil Co. to pick up the tab on the Governer's idea of using those hoses that sucked up the oil from the beaches or Why dosn't the Gov't allow private company's to clean the spill and BP pay for it??????

    June 10, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  6. Kristine Lansing

    I am one of millions who will never buy your products again. BP has no right to complain about costs; this spill should, and hopefully will, put BP out of business! BP has wrecked havoc on Africa for years and the world has essentially ignored it, but now that BP is wrecking environmental havoc in our backyard, every US citizen should rise up and boycott! I hope BP spends every last dime paying to clean up this mess and the name BP will be synonomous with corporate ambivalence, environmental armageddon, and pure unadulterated greed!!

    June 10, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  7. Richard South

    Do whatever is needed and send B.P. the bill. hold their bank accounts for ransom if needed. After everything, that has been said by B.P. CEO, it seems if his mouth is moving, he is being dishonest. This is all about the mighty dollar (for profit) and not about anything else.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:59 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    Please people, put your emotions and naivety away. Freezing BP assets and Boycotting BP means it will not be in charge any more or able to pay for anything. Get real about gag orders as well they are unconstitutional and ineffective... the corollary is Big tobacco, at a much more sensitive level, and until you can prove it in writing as a media you should shut up or produce the opposite letter(S) of what BP say they have not done, in writing, stop whining AC 360 prove what you say!!
    If possible that would really screw BP. Remember the guy who issued the denial from BP did not do so without approval from BP lawyers!!
    The naivety of Thad Allensl letter is unbelievable:
    1) Ask any Insurance claims adjustor how he does his work? They will tell you every claim is different. Some of these fishermen are relatively large operators and some one man companies. Now great Thad Allen and AC 360 tell me how BP should deal with that fairly in each case at either end of the spectrum or anything in between without someone being unhappy!!
    Me I would if a Fishermen large or small be prepared to trade a certified number of my net earnings from the IRS for an equivalent monthly standing order from BP to my bank Provided if I had part time earnings from other sources these were shown separately if still earnable. Too simple probably, and business fixed cost would need to be considered. Speeding up claims when BP have taken on 500 people to do it aint that bad, and amounts to recruiting about 10 people a day to do things not part of thier normal business.
    Oh and Jindal sucking up oil. It is in the end a pin prick because :-
    a) The amount that can be sucked up into a tanker say (normally used for Say cess tank clearance) is very small.
    b) The coastguard and you know that going over 1 knot causes as much problems ( additional damage) as it solves for suck up and skimming without specialised boats or ships.
    c) Once collected where are you going to put it unless you have agreed with BP or someone else ( " contaminated" oil storage facilty owner) who can store it. You cannot keep it in the tankers otherwise it is self defeating.
    Not saying it should not be done but put it into perspective it is not a panacea, and the logistics are horredous.
    Where is the balance Anderson!? It's a disaster but in 50 days what have BP actually done is not really covered only what they have not done or failed to do, or done badly in ( whose opinion) just you? and when the other sides actions are not reported at least mostly on AC 360 I watch.
    The spill numbers I believe are currently from the expert panel not just BP alone. Please tell us the production rate of this Well before it blew up its available from the government because of tax revenues!? That puts the numbers into some " logical" perspective. Ah, too undramatic I guess!?

    June 10, 2010 at 4:17 am |
  9. David Edmonds

    So where are all the "Save the Gulf" concerts?
    Where are the TV benefits with celebrities and musicians giving heart
    felt speeches on the poor fishermen, wildlife, beaches, loss of income
    and sabotaged gulf economy?I find it rather strange how these people
    (including our own government) are so quick to help Haiti and other
    ...countries, yet sit on their butts for this one!

    June 10, 2010 at 2:58 am |
  10. Ann Clay

    I live in California and would like to know Gas Stations and stores selling BP Products. I would like to encourage my community to Boycot all BP products until they get serious about the oil clean-up and helping people they are putting out of business and providing funds to help the birds and animals of the wetlands.

    June 10, 2010 at 2:47 am |
  11. James O'Brien

    I'm sick and tired of hearing criticisms regarding the handling of this oil spill by BP. From what I understand there are roughly 35,000 active oil wells in the Gulf, of which BP is only one of them. Why this isn’t considered an industry problem I will never understand? This will undoubtedly affect each and every oil operator in the Gulf region "WHERE ARE THESE TITANS OF INDUSTRY NOW"?
    President Obama should be calling an emergency meeting with ALL these humongous oil companies operating in the region, DEMANDING that this is in fact an industry problem not a Florida problem. He should DEMAND that they all become immediately involved and should remind them to bring their checkbooks. Where is Exxon Mobil? Where is Shell and the rest of them?
    Why is a fisherman or a citizen of Florida responsible for cleaning up this mess? The industry should be in there helping the citizens of Florida and BP fix these things and clean up the mess, their industry is responsible for making such a mess. Not unlike the fisherman, they should be volunteering their services and assisting wherever humanly possible (it's in their best interest). And yes they should be helping the people of Florida and BP cover the immediate costs to get the situation under control. Let them sort out amongst themselves who pays who money at the end of the day (once again the cost is not a Florida problem or a government problem it's their industries problem). FIX IT NOW

    June 10, 2010 at 2:33 am |
  12. Marc L. from NJ

    why are they being so tight with the money ? they want all the money for themselves the executives! GOD bless those lost in this greedy tragic scam.

    June 10, 2010 at 2:11 am |
  13. rick dubois

    why has b.p. not been forthcoming with all the pictures, news,estimates
    and scientific data,, because the more they release and the faster they do it the more they will have to pay out faster, and dollars to donuts , they are busier circling their wagons to find the fastest way to keep us in the dark until they can surprise us with a sudden application for bankruptcy to protect their assets before they have to pay too much out and still stay solvent... so they can go back to business as usual ..anyone on capital hill who doesnt see this coming is blind. if they do file for protection we ought to be able to confiscate b.p. ,take it over , and use its resources to make sure this mess they created is fixed as best as it can be....
    and by the way where is our 'buddy ' great britain in all this ...as much as ive been following al of this i dont hear them interjecting much on this....

    June 10, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  14. Marc L. from NJ

    Greatest scam ever "BP oil spill"? I hope they don't let them get away with this . It is very obvious that this oil spill was no accident. This is the only way they are able to rip off the shareholders and not got to jail like lay and the enron bunch. Cause a huge oil spill then raid the coffers and hire your friends,family from the Netherlanders and elsewhere etc. to clean it up and write them checks till there's no more money left oh one more thing I bet the swiss bank accounts were all set up already. while we are left holding the bag? they could have crimped the pipe day one to stop the flow.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:59 am |
  15. Linda

    This situation is so very sad. Our planet is being destroyed. I don't know why the whole world isn't yelling and screaming. Where is the respect for this earth. Seems like greed may destroy us all.As I see things BP stands for Bad People....

    June 10, 2010 at 1:50 am |
  16. Tamara Allen

    I am unclear as to why the President cannot freeze BP's assets and ensure that workers are paid. In addition, the clean up efforts should not have to wait for BP to act; the President should have the power to divert funds from BP's accounts in order to fully utilize clean up efforts. This would allow the people the freedom to speak and act without fear of retribution from the monopoly that seems to think it owns the coast and all of its inhabitants.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:43 am |
  17. John

    B P wont come on your show ,because they know, you will do everything in your power, keeping them honest. Something they know nothing about. Total and complete transparency, or the U.S should seize their assets. Our part of the planet is going to die, and for what? Greed & Politics. I'd like like to know, who's in bed with who.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:42 am |
  18. LWilsonNC

    I don't understand when people keep screaming at BP to "fix"
    the oil leak. I know that they could be doing much, much more
    to protect the wetlands, but it looks like there is nothing BP
    can do to stop the oil leak. There is a hole into the center of
    the earth and nobody has ever done that before without having
    a way to catch what comes out. Be it oil or whatever.
    With a few more earthquakes, who knows where it is going
    to start up next.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:39 am |
  19. JW

    Why doesn't the Congress freeze BP's US assets. This is the only thing these people understand. Hit them in the pocketbook. Get them to do the right thing.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:19 am |
  20. Michael California

    Always ask, "who benefits". By delaying payment, by seemingly focusing on actually stopping versus siphoning off as much oil as possible. If BP were to actually stop the oil, they lose the ability to make revenue off of anything. By delaying payment, they hope to keep to the 75 million cap and provide time for lobbyist and lawyers. Stopping the oil changes the focus on things and who is in control.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:15 am |
  21. Aimee

    My concern is that if there is oil in 37% of the gulf after 1 month, then will there be oil in 100% of the gulf by the end of July?

    I don't think BP, it's CEO or managing director care at all about the gulf & that the see themselves as victims of the oil spill which they caused. I find their commerical with the CEO apologizing fake & offensive. They will never be transparent unless forced to be.

    Also, what about all the businesses that make money off the gulf? Like the restaurants, trucking companies, suppliers & so forth? This is a much bigger problem than just the fishermen & wildlife. This extends to many industries.

    Thanks for listening.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:22 am |
  22. Tami Miles

    I strongly feel that BP should pay for the oil disaster. However, I was suprised that some people seemed to struggle to provide proof of financials. I get taxed on every penny I make each year when I file taxes. All the requested information to file a claim through BP should be able to be pulled from tax records. People who run 'cash operations' and fly under uncle sam's hand, yet now expect the government to help them? Are you kidding me?

    June 10, 2010 at 12:20 am |
  23. Ann Csonka & John De Noyer, Virginia

    Tax records – are these adequate for claimants?
    First, we love and respect the way of life of the watermen and women. We hate the situation and the untold damage to the Gulf ecosystem and economy.
    However, the day-to-day specialized fishing and related businesses are complex hands-on stuff, intuitive and ingrained, not bookkeeping.
    So we wonder if they have accountants who have kept adequate records of expenses, income, etc so that they CAN claim actual values of lost revenues?
    It is disgusting that BP apparently does not have enough claims adjusters, but claims adjusters speak a different language than watermen.
    Are there any “account-interpreters”?

    June 10, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  24. Connie

    BP officials should lower their salaries and pay their debts to the environment and those affected by this tragic event. They could show a little remorse through their profits.Did they really show profits of over 5 billion in 4 months? That's enough to get started.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  25. Norman Floyd

    The legitimate fishermen in the gulf definitely need help, but those who operate under-the- table cash businesses and cannot provide documentation and tax records are out of luck. Good.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  26. Tom (charter boat operator)

    Many of these fishermen have few records and may not have the best tax returns. BP will demand strict documentatoin and threaten to turn them in to the IRS and scare them into taking peanuts. They should be able to prove with a combination of records and affidavit or other testimony. The feds should be attacking BP, not its own people and let them know the IRS will not buy into this witch hunt.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  27. Ingrid

    I am starting to feel like everything in this country is screwed up. I live on the East Coast and I am heartbroken over what is happening in all aspects of this "spill". It comes to a certain point where these fisherman and their families need help. Even though it should be BP who financially compensates them, I'm wondering if the rest of us should be banding together to send food, etc down to these poor people. I can't even imagine what it must be like for anyone living on the Gulf right now. To any of you reading this blog, the rest of the country is behind you and feels your pain. Let us know what we can do to help. We have to take care of our own. It's the American way.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  28. Daniel Garden City Ks

    Why not let the out of work fisherman rig their boats to haul suctioning equipment, and let them go out and start cleaning up the mess. I am sure they will be happy too.
    Its simple and effective. Keep track of the costs, and bill bp for it later. If they can drag their feet they will. Lets get something started now so we can save the gulf.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  29. Joan

    BP is only concerned about making a profit-the money from BPs processed Deepwater Horizon's oil they are putting in the ship is going to go to a wildlife fund-my a**, Tony Hayward! Oh, and paying billions in dividends to stockholders. But they pay a lousy $5,000 a month to fishermen and small business owners. While liar Tony makes $12,000 a day! And President Obama, grow a pair and call Tony Hayward and say I'm taking over, freezing assets and dividends, bringing in the best scientists and engineers, bring in more military and General Honore, and take your job and salary the heck outta here cause we've had enough of your BS!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  30. macamazin

    I'm no mechanical engineer but just looking at the video of the severed pipe after it was cut, it seems a lot simpler to uncouple the top flange where the pipe was cut and replace it with a new pipe to run it to the surface and stop the leak completely

    June 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  31. Bob - Windham NH

    Anderson – I am incredibly impressed by your coverage and personal commitment to this. I've not heard what is going to happen to the oil collected from the "Top Hat" – it has value and at some point will be refined – is it BP's plan to keep that money or give it to the people of Louisiana? Why can't Louisiana go to court and place liens on it ?

    June 9, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  32. Sally

    Tony Hayward and Doug Suttles are dishonest business men, and cannot be "kept honest" because they never have been. What surprises me is why everyone is so surprised! They have been lying from the start, but it's politically incorrect to call someone a liar, so we haven't,... and they keep lying.! Surprise! No one will get a fair shake from a dishonest man. Time to stop waiting for a miracle and get real!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
  33. Pam

    All the requirement for receipts years old is just a stalling tactic. I hope that someday the BP folks are ashamed of themselves but I doubt they will be. Just watched Anderson...why does Louisana need BP's permission to bring in certain kinds of clean ujp devices. That is ridiculous. And the feds are wondering why the American people are fed up with the federal gov't?!!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  34. Annie Mac

    OMG Enough is ENOUGH!!! Bobby Jindal for President and Billy Nungesser for Vice President! WHEN is the Government going to wake up and DO what these guys on the ground are asking for HELP for!!! Let's get those Vacuums cranked up and GOING!!! Thanks Anderson!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  35. TC LA

    Thanks for keeping the world informed about what is going on down here. We will get through this! We will adapt to any situation, overcome any problems, and conquer BP and this oil spill!

    June 9, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  36. Greg

    Why doesn't the federal govt. just give the people filing claims a no interest bridge loan until BP gets their act together.

    The IRS has their last year's taxes on file. Just give them a check for a third of what they made last year.

    People could have a check in their hands in a week.

    It doesn't make sense to have the business owners submitting piles of receipts from years ago to an under staffed BP claims department.

    They need help now.

    Worry about the details later.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  37. Kathy Seattle

    B.P. sounds like eco terroristism to me. they wanted to drill but now they don't want to bust but to get it cleaned up before it hits our shores.Ruining america's eco system. Seems like they wanted our oil and money but as long it is not their coastline it does not matter. they will just raise their oil prices to accomadate their own pockets.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  38. Wayne

    The reason they are not paying claims is so they will starve everyone and create financial havoc then make them a PAYOUT OFFER and they will except anything.
    It's like being hungry, after awhile you will eat anything just to survive.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  39. thomas l.

    Why wont the federal Government freeze all BP USA assets and control what they do. BP needs to pay 1 billion dollars to start asap to even make a dent in this spill. BP made over 5 Billion in profit in the 1st 4 months ..

    June 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  40. Sarah Voisin, Houma , LA Oyster farmer

    BP will have to be careful with payouts... there are many greedy cowards that show their ugly faces in time of crisis... along with heros... remember Katrina... there were many of both

    June 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  41. Chris Day

    Yeah well the only problem is big hotel who say they are down 20% this year so therefore there loses are about 700,000 dollars are submitting that to BP. Well Guess what the Economy is down , I do not think any hotels in any county where oil has NOT come ashore shouldn't be able to claim more than , maybe a $5,000 dollars claim. Florida does not have any oil except for maybe in or Near Pensacola. The entire west coast of Florida is Oil Free..............These fisherman who claim they need to be paid thousands of dollars, either need to move there boats to other states, or BP should ONly pay them Disaster Unemployment rates...Not thousands a week per employee...

    June 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  42. Annie Kate

    I'm not surprised that BP is putting up a lot of red tape for the claims; they want to minimize what they have to pay out; it would be interesting to see if they have denied any claims and why. BP has lied like a dog through all of this – you can't believe anything they say now from the amount of oil gushing out to the amount being captured to what is being paid and not paid and how much. BP should be scrambling to pay these people whose livelihoods they have destroyed for at least this year if not for many years – BP isn't looking good on any front. Its almost like they are trying to see just how much they can muddy their public image.

    Looking forward to the show tonight and especially the interview with the wives.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:52 pm |

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