Gulf oil spill chief says he’s working only for victims but tough decisions must be made

By Larry Margasak, AP
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spill fund chief: working only for victims

WASHINGTON — The administrator of a $20 billion Gulf oil spill compensation fund says he’s working only for the victims who were harmed by the tragedy.

Kenneth Feinberg said Wednesday that the fund will be “up and running in August,” and will be both generous and fairly administered.

However, Feinberg told the House Judiciary Committee that he will have to make tough decisions about eligibility. He’ll need to decide how to compensate fishermen and others who are paid in cash and have no records. Decisions will made on paying businesses such as motels that are miles from the Gulf Coast, but lost guests because of the drop in tourism.

Feinberg said he’ll have to devise a system to pay victims whose potential illnesses from the cleanup may take several years to develop.

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