Feinberg says geographic proximity to oil impact will not play role in compensation
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10/04/10 Seán Kinane
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castory (D-FL).


photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF (Sept. 2009)

Kenneth Feinberg announced today that geographic proximity to oil-impacted areas will no longer play a role in whether people can get compensated for losses from the BP oil disaster.

The administrator of the compensation fund had previously said that distance from oiled beaches would be taken into account. But he has reversed that decision after hearing from angry Gulf residents.

Governor Charlie Crist released a statement saying, “Removing physical proximity from the criteria for claims will help many Florida hotels and restaurants that lost business and income even though they are miles from the oil spill.”

Gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink wrote, “I am encouraged that Mr. Feinberg has heard our call for fairness in processing legitimate claims for all Floridians, not just those who are physically close to the shoreline.”

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor told WMNF she’s also pleased at Feinberg’s change of heart.

In other news of the oil disaster, the Associated Press reports a salvage executive says BP interfered with efforts to lower an undersea robot trying to close the rig’s failed blowout preventer.

Representative Castor said she had not yet heard of this specific allegation, but “it is in line with everything we learned in our Energy and Commerce oversight hearings regarding how BP tried to hide the ball, how they took shortcuts, while at the same time claiming that deep water oil drilling was safe as can be.”

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