, WASHINGTON, June 16 – The US government will use "every device" available to get BP to pay to cleanup the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a senior aide to President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.
Obama aide David Axelrod spoke hours before Obama was to meet BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at the White House for talks. BP chief executive Tony Hayward also was expected to attend.
"We\’re going to use every device, legal device, at our disposal if necessary," Axelrod said on CNN.
"But I believe that (BP executives) they understand the situation that they\’re in and they understand the pressure they\’re under to meet their obligations. We are going to make sure that they do."
In a televised late Tuesday address from the Oval Office, Obama vowed to make BP pay for the "recklessness" that led to the massive spill.
At the meeting, "we\’re going to be talking about the need to put money in escrow accounts for the people of the Gulf, and to have an independent administrator so claims are not slow and people can get the money that they need to survive this disaster that BP created," Axelrod said.
However "nothing\’s been finalized" regarding the amount of money the company needs to set aside for Gulf restoration and claims.
"That will happen today," Axelrod said. "But it\’s fair to say that they understand our position and they understand the position they are in and we expect them to meet their responsibilities, their legal and moral responsibilities to people in the Gulf and we\’re going to make sure that that happens today."
"This is a disaster, it is an ongoing disaster, it is going to take some time to deal with that disaster," Axelrod said.