Somewhere someone said, “Money complicates things.” That’s the phrase that came to mind after reading the front page story of the Washington Post: “Six months after the spill, BP’s money is changing the gulf as much as its oil.”
Covering the complexities of the payment system that is currently underway to help Gulf Coast residents and businesses recover from the BP oil spill, part of the article will probably give you comfort to know people who deserve restitution are getting it. The other part of the article will undoubtedly tick you off when you read quotes like, “It don’t pay to go back to work,” as one fisherman said.
The compensation system that Ken Fienberg is leading is certainly complex. It literally is a case-by-case effort where there will be those who are appropriately and justly compensated and those who lose out and get nothing. Money, regardless of who hands it out, has a tendency to make some happy and others deeply angry. This is another one of those cases.
There will be plenty of lessons learned from this experience, but at the end of the day, regardless of how much money Feinberg and BP hand out, it will never replace the way of life stained by the events of six months ago. That mark is never going to go away.