After the 2010 oil disaster, BP gave Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s office a $5 million grant, and the company is asking for it’s money back: a slimy move. But here’s the kicker. Perry just sat on the money for the last four years. He never spent it on wildlife conservation or cleanup efforts, or any of the purposes which the money was supposed to be used. That’s a slimy move too.
In fact, Perry’s office kept the money a secret until a legislative hearing in May made Texas state and local officials tasked with directing the state’s recovery efforts aware of the funds. Of course, those officials and lawmakers became angry and demanded the money be given to the rightful groups.
Not only did Perry’s office hide the money, but it has actually accrued a nice amount of interest from the funds.t. “The state has allowed the funds to sit in its General Revenue, earning $20,871.63 in interest over the past three years,” said a BP attorney.
Now let’s be clear, we at Ring of Fire absolutely hate BP and everything that criminal corporation stands for. And BP quickly slips back into it’s reptilian ways by asking for the money back. And Perry is no better for having kept the money hidden and not spent it.
According to attorneys and environmental advocates, the Texas recovery effort has been so lacking that it’s fallen behind the other Gulf Coast states impacted by the oil spill. Perry’s spokesperson Lucy Nashed was asked why the money remained unspent, and as expected, she gave frustratingly vague non-answers.
“As you can imagine, the costs for an incident of this magnitude are ongoing, and we continue to work with agencies to determine where use of these funds is appropriate,” said Nashed.
The ongoing costs weren’t an issue for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, yet somehow it’s hard for Perry and his officials to determine whether the money should be used. Furthermore, how can the governor’s office continue to “work with agencies” when the agencies had no idea the money existed in the first place?
But let’s not forget that BP has been trying to renege on the claims it agreed to pay to persons and businesses hurt by the company’s negligence. The company has filed appeals and even outright asked businesses to give the money back, and each request has been shut down by the courts. Not a good look, BP.
This dispute is a clash between evil forces. BP needs to back off and keep to its agreements, and Perry needs to get his act together, stop being greedy, and help his state get back on the recovery track.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.