AP reports on frustration from Gulf Coast residents as BP issues $1.25 billion in dividend payments:
BP's decision to resume paying dividends rankled Gulf Coast residents Tuesday who saw it as another sign the company wants to move on even though many are still suffering from last year's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The frustration is fueled by the slow pace of resolving claims to the $20 billion claims fund. Aside from a single claim by a BP partner that bypassed Ken Feinberg, none of the 91,000 claims on the fund have been finalized. Many of these claimants have received interim payments, but they await final resolution.
In response to these concerns, Ken Feinberg today announced the broad outlines of what the final payments would be:
Most eligible oil spill claimants will be able to collect twice their 2010 damages for final payments, except for oyster harvesters, who will be offered four times their documented losses from 2010, said Kenneth Feinberg, the man handing out BP's oil spill damage payments. ... The Gulf Coast Claims Facility calculation methodology released Wednesday says final payments will be based on documented actual losses, plus an assumption of future losses. That additional amount will be equal to twice the 2010 losses for all but oyster harvesters, for whom future losses will be four times the actual damages already suffered.
However, claimants who suffered losses of more than $500,000 in 2010 will not automatically get a final paymenet of twice their 2010 losses. Instead, Feinberg said those larger claims will get an individualized assessment of their future losses.
Although BP is incredibly unpopular in the Gulf Coast, the region overall is one of if not the most pro-drilling areas of the U.S. Last summer, for example, 82% of Lousianans expressed their support for drilling.