BP Tries to Block Photos of Dead Animals
What is the BP oil spill going to cost Florida? After the Deepwater Horizon spill, now in day 50, a University of Central Florida economist crunched the numbers and says 39,000 jobs could be cut, mostly in tourism and fisheries and $2.2 billion economic impact. Remember that Florida is already seeing about 12 % unemployment — one of the worst in the nation. And the state’s budget shortfall for next year was estimated to be $6 billion.
Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday activated a loan program in the state that will allow small businesses to tap into up to $25,000 to offset oil spill economic losses in Florida. And the governor has asked for another $200 million from BP that would go for advertising to lure tourists to Florida and to conduct monitoring of the spill. So far, the Tallahassee paper reports that BP has cut about 1,600 checks totaling $5 million to out of work Floridians with most checks coming in under $5,000.
A BP VP says that the company has paid out about $48 million through its 25 claims offices that have opened, 10 of them in Florida.
Let’s all hope that the current does not bring the oil to the Atlantic coast beaches.
Meanwhile, one animals.change.org report says that BP is escorting reporters off the beach who want to take pictures of the oil-soaked animals. The death toll so far estimated by the Fish and Wildlife Services is 527 birds, 235 sea turtles and 30 mammals, including dolphins. The New York Daily News is reporting that BP contractors have been ordered not to share their pictures of the dead, dying and injured wildlife.
“They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence” one reporter told the paper.