AUSTIN(Legal Newsline)-A group of five state attorneys general, including Texas AG Greg Abbott, have formed the bipartisan Gulf States Coalition to coordinate their legal efforts to the increasing oil spill spreading off their coastlines.
On Sunday, the attorneys general from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida met in Mobile, Ala., to discuss their legal strategy to jointly to protect their states' threatened natural resources, coastal businesses and taxpayer dollars following the explosion and oil spill at a British Petroleum off-shore site.
"The oil spill threatens precious environmental, ecological and wildlife resources across the Gulf Coast," Abbott said. "Our top focus is ensuring that BP makes good on its promise to fully compensate individuals, coastal businesses and taxpayers for any expenses incurred during the clean-up effort."
The leak stems from a series of explosions on April 20 at BP's Mississippi Canyon #252, an off-shore drilling site approximately 52 miles from Venice, La. The explosion occurred on an off-shore platform known as Deepwater Horizon, which BP leased from Transocean, Ltd. Eleven people were killed in the explosion and several others were injured.
Abbott said he and his counterparts in the region plan to work with other state and local officials to "ensure that BP reimburses any expenditure of taxpayer resources and will focus on ensuring that BP's compensation process is not overly burdensome or bureaucratic for coastal residents and small businesses."
BP officials, he said, assured the attorneys general that "any responsible claim will be compensated." BP announced Monday that it "takes responsibility for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," where 5,000 barrels of hydrocarbons are leaking into the Gulf of Mexico each day, and promised to "pay all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs."
The Gulf States Coalition's members, in addition to Abbott, are Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, Alabama Attorney General Troy King, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.