Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano are meeting with top BP officials in Washington Monday to discuss the crisis, and Napolitano told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she will press for assurance that the company has set up a clear process for individuals and communities impacted by the spill to file claims.
“They are the responsibility party,” Napolitano said. “They are going to end up paying for the federal government’s cost, for the states’ and, most importantly, for the individuals and communities that are going to be most directly impacted.”
Napolitano also said she would investigate reports that local residents working on cleanup efforts are being required to sign waivers limiting liability in case of injury, or confidentiality agreements. “I’m looking into that right now. I was just alerted to that,” Napolitano said. “And if that, in fact, is the case, that is a practice we want stopped immediately.”
Every time a senior Administration official emphasizes that BP will pay all the damages, it is an admission by the Administration that the president’s team doesn’t have a plan to stop the spill. Two weeks after the explosion, the federal government doesn’t have a plan to stop the damage from growing.
The people, businesses and environment about to be injured by the oil care much less about who will pay their damages as they do about containing and stopping the spill.