Oil giant BP says it has paid more than $657 million for grants, claims and recovery costs in Alabama from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil company released updated figures this week on the amounts it has paid in Alabama so far. The largest amount, nearly $420 million, went directly to businesses and individuals filing claims.
BP said nearly $127 million has gone to those working in the Vessels of Opportunity program, which used fishermen and boat captains to help recover the oil in the water.
The company said $22 million has gone to help Alabama’s tourism industry. But the head of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach tourism said last Friday that Baldwin County’s lodging revenue fell 33 percent, costing about $58 million.
Gov. Bob Riley recently criticized the BP claims fund’s process, claiming it speeds up when leaders call a meeting to air complaints and slows down again soon after.
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