Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Florida Tourism Industry Already Spends $25 Million of BP (NYSE:BP) Money

As we've mentioned before at Dripping Oil, when the decision was made to create an escrow fund, which BP (NYSE:BP) would be forced to pay into, there would be an extraordinary amount of potential abuses made, and that is predictably the case with the government, which only knows how to take and spend money.

BP recently provided Florida with $25 million for the state to use to advertise to supposedly combat the negative "perception" potential tourists had of the state.

The alleged use of the funds was to counter the negative press which could cause people to visit elsewhere.

Now the CEO of a Florida public-private marketing corporation is whining to Charlie Crist's Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force that not only the $25 million running low, but they need an additional $500 million from BP to continue their positive marketing campaign (which would include other states in the Gulf).

I think this person also said this with a straight face. A great acting job if that was the case.

This is an obvious abuse of the purpose of the escrow fund, which is what they're attempting to tap into. Could you imagine Gulf states being awarded $500 million of the $5 billion allocated in the fund this year for advertising?

It's also unclear how much the private sector participants in this "public-private" marketing corporation would get from it, but it's sure to be a lot, as would the government entities involved on the state and local levels.

This continued idiocy must be stopped in its tracks in order for the idea that BP has the ability to pay unlimited liability in these circumstances to be arrested. It doesn't. And if these types of requests continue to be made, it's sure to lead them to declare bankruptcy in order to manage and limit the payouts.

It also smells of governments trying to take advantage of the situation and use BP as a form of tax revenue to prop up their government programs they can't afford; such as the tourism unit.

BP executive Darryl Willis, vice president of resources at the company, said states should contact BP's chief operating officer of exploration and production, Doug Suttles, concerning the issue, and not attempt to go through the claims process to attempt to secure advertising money.

The hangover from the recession and mortgage crisis is a large part of what is driving these politicians and businesses, and these types of attempts to be opportunists to extract more money from BP will backfire, as they simply don't have the money to continue on meeting these types of requests.


  1. I'm glad that people are getting some money now, but there's a lot more oil coming and I think the impact of this is going to last much longer than they are anticipating.

  2. vultures taking advantage of BP...