Crist Wants $50 Million More From BP
Around the State
Warily watching Florida's 770 miles of Gulf coastline -- as well as the political polls -- Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday asked BP America's president to send $50 million more to the state.
"Due to the extensive nature of (the Deepwater Horizon oil spill), Florida's state agencies and local governments have incurred significant costs associated with planning and preparing for potential impacts," Crist wrote to Lamar McKay.
Saying the state had already "exhausted" the initial $25 million sent by BP last month, Crist said $50 million more was needed "to allow Florida to continue our efforts."
Though Crist assured McKay that "detailed records shall be kept regarding the use of grant funds," the governor's office did not immediately supply a specific breakdown of the expenses already incurred.
Crist's request -- which exceeds that of other Gulf states -- may be justified in that Florida has more coastline than any other mainland state.
And if scientific models about the Gulf's "loop current" hold true, Florida's East Coast could feel the effects of the spill as oil entrains around the peninsula.
Those same models, however, predict that Florida's West Coast will be spared from the oily onslaught.
BP officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Crist's request.
Crist, who is running for U.S. Senate as an independent, took heat from Republicans and Democrats who said he moved too slowly in the early days of the oil blowout.
In his request to double BP's initial payment to Florida, Crist said the state had already spent --
- "More than $30 million for supplemental protective measures."
- "Approximately $20 million on incrememtal local and state preparedness and response support costs during the first 30 days of operation (first responders, critical training, EOC operations, support equipment and supplies, etc.) and projected for an additional 30 days."
Thus far, the company also has paid approximately $42 million in compensation to people and companies affected by the spill.
On Wednesday, BP announced that it supports the U.S. government's decision to proceed with the construction of six sections of a Louisiana barrier islands proposal.
BP said it would fund the estimated $360 million it will cost to build the six sections.
Contact Kenric Ward at email@example.com or at (772) 801-5341.