Feinberg and Landrieu hold town halls to explain new victims claims process
On August 18th, approximately 500 individuals crowded the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana, to hear from Kenneth Feinberg and Mary Landrieu (D-La). The two speakers explained the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility, highlighted its independence, and assured the audience of their concern for victims of the oil spill.
Feinberg, Chief Administrator of the facility, appeared travel weary at his second town hall of the day (the first in Houma) and his seventh visit to Louisiana in the last two months. But he had good news to share: the facility will be ready to commence in less than a week, transitioning away from BP on the morning of August 23rd. He also pledged an outcome to all individual claims within two days of receiving them, and within seven days for business claims.
Alongside logistical information and responses to questions, Feinberg’s primary message was that people would do well to trust him and his independence. “[The GCCF] is not part of BP. It is not part of the government. It is an independent program, established by the administration and BP… I am beholden to neither of them. I am working for you.”
Landrieu introduced the event and echoed Feinberg’s sentiment that there is nothing sinister about the facility. “I just want you all to know that your delegation, along with your elected officials, are working very hard for you… Today we really want to spend the next 45 minutes talking about this claims process and getting your questions answered.”
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Fergus Hodgson is the Capitol Bureau Reporter with The Pelican Institute for Public Policy. This piece also appeared on the Institute’s blog, The Pelican Post.