June 21, 2010

Haley Barbour backtracked from his previous statement that the $20 billion escrow account would make it less likely that BP will pay for everything in regards to the damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Now that he's found out the money will only go out in payments of $5 billion a year, he's much less worried his campaign donor will go out of business any time soon.

GREGORY: Governor, you--Governor Barbour, you've been concerned about the idea of this escrow fund, this $20 billion fund. Why?

BARBOUR: Right. Well, I thought that they were talking about taking $20 billion from BP all at once, and my fear was if you took $20 billion from them all at once, put it in an escrow account, then they wouldn't have the working capital to generate the revenue to pay us. I think the president was smart, and I congratulate him and BP that they reached an agreement. Instead of $20 billion taken out of that working capital all at once, it's actually going to be $5 billion this year, $5 billion the next year, $5 billion the following year and $5 billion the fourth year. That makes sure--as Mary Landrieu says, we want to make sure that BP stays in business, generates the revenues that will pay what they owe the states and our citizens. And I think the--I don't know if it's a compromise or not--the agreement they worked out not to do all the $20 billion, put it in an escrow account all at once, means that we're much more likely to get everything paid by BP, who, by the way, is supposed to pay everything.

I'm still wondering when Barbour will admit that there is a need for the fund in his state and that the oil has washed up on the shores of Mississippi as well.

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