In today's hearings before Congress, BP CEO Tony Hayward was blasted by most lawmakers over his companies handling of the BP Oil Spill and subsequent containment and clean up efforts. This despite the companies agreement to fund an unprecedented $20 Billion Oil Spill damage fund to compensate individuals and businesses in the impacted Gulf Coast area.
However, not all the Congressman were hostile to the BP officials, with Rep Tom Barton of Texas taking pains to point out that he felt the Obama White House had exceeded it's constitutional authority and had engaged "in a shakedown" of BP to force them to pay the $20 billion, outside of the US legal system. The fire storm over his choice of words and attack on the fund is a precursor to what is sure to be an intense battle over the process by which this Oil Spill fund was negotiated and established.
Answering this argument is Attorney Rick Kuykendall in this video commentary, looking at the case as a whole, the integrity of Special Master Kenneth Feinberg and the historic elements of this disaster. As pointed out, Ken Feinberg is hardly a pawn of the Democrats, having been appointed to over see the 9/11 fund by then President George Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. What we have here is a stunning financial commitment by BP to fund the Spill Damage Fund as well as a man of demonstrated expertise and integrity appointed to over see the process.
View this video response by Attorney Rick Kuykendall to the charges that the Gulf Oil Spill fund is political shakedown money and give us your thoughts on how this unprecedented process might play out.