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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 9:44am

State AG, Others Want BP Assurance

Attorneys general of 11 Atlantic coast states, including Georgia, are putting BP on notice to pay legitimate claims, if oil shows up on Atlantic shores.

Georgia’s Thurbert Baker joined colleagues from other Atlantic coast states in signing the letter. In it, they ask BP for assurances that legitimate claims would be paid by the company. The prosecutors also want BP to keep all documents relating to the spill and response.

Larry Sanders with Emory University’s Turner Enviromental Law Clinic says the letter from the attorneys general could be seen as a public relations move, but maybe something else.

“It could be that the attorneys general have some legitimate interest in getting in line, or at least putting BP on notice that the $20 billion may not be the end of their liabilities.”

The attorneys general also sent similar letters to companies connected to the oil spill through equipment and the blown well itself.

Sanders does say for BP at the moment, answering this letter is probably not its top priority.

“There’s a certain amount of piling-on. There’s already been tons of lawsuits filed in the Gulf itself and the cleanup in the Gulf is taking-up obviously most of their energy at the moment.”

In the early days of the spill BP went on record saying it would pay all legitimate claims, at the time referring to the Gulf Coast.