11 East Coast States Hold BP Responsible for Oil Disaster Claims

June 22, 2010

Eleven East Coast states have told BP they will hold it responsible for any losses caused by its still-growing oil spill in the Gulf, Connecticut’s attorney general said Monday.

“Even without oil actually reaching the Connecticut shoreline, this massive oil spill could still impose damage and destruction to the entire Atlantic coastline,” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.

Saying birds and marine life likely will be “severely damaged,” he added: “Connecticut and a coalition of states are putting BP and affiliated companies on notice that we will not pay the price for their monumental failures.”

The notice also was sent to Transocean, Halliburton , and Cameron , said Blumenthal, who is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Although Democrats and Republicans have clashed over holding BP accountable, Blumenthal’s coalition included governors and attorneys generals from both parties in Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina, and Rhode Island.

Three states were notable for their absence, although they have popular summer shore resorts: Alabama, New Jersey and Virginia. Spokesmen for the three states, whose governors and attorneys general are Republicans, were not immediately available.

Blumenthal’s coalition of attorneys general told the oil companies to “memorialize” their promises to pay legitimate claims from the oil spill and to preserve all documents about the deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and their responses. The companies also were told to appoint a point person to deal with the states.

(Additional reporting by Michael Connor in Miami) (Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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