Bob Riley is a lame duck Governor who leaves office in January and really doesn’t have to go after the feds with guns a-blazin’. But that’s not stopping the boots-wearing Republican, who has been critical of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility almost since day one:
Riley said he is concerned that underpayments by Feinberg’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility will force businesses to prematurely sign away the right to sue BP PLC.
Area businesses have complained loudly about the size of payments, compared to claims, plus the lack of information about how those amounts were determined.
“If you have the capacity to turn them down with no explanation and make them sign away their right to sue, that’s extortion,” Riley said.
Riley is absolutely correct—Feinberg’s process unfairly penalizes businesses, arbitrarily denies legitimate claims filed by businesses, and forces businesses to either sign away their rights to litigation or walk away with nothing.
This comes on the heels of clear evidence that the Obama regime is also playing politics with oil spill study funds under NRDA, and in the wake of indications that Feinberg’s claims facility is nothing more than a White House sanctioned engine for redistributing wealth.
Businesses are getting fractions of well documented claims, while the employees of those businesses are getting multiples of what they’ve filed for. What’s up with that?
Most of the businesses affected are small, mom-and-pop shops that clean cottages and condos, sell sundries and souvenirs, conduct boat tours and rent beach equipment. They’re not fat cats by any stretch of the imagination, and they were devastated by the spill’s impact on tourism. Even with a full reimbursement claim, a lot of these businesses aren’t going to make to the 2011 summer season.
Bob Riley gets major props for taking Feinberg and Obama to task, and the louder he shouts the more light is shed on a politically motivated claims settlement process.