I just want the world to know.
My wife and I have a small store where we have been selling shrimp from for
11 years. Our store is actually a boat in St. Andrews Marina. Everyday
fishermen hired by BP are going out in search of oil. I see 30 to 50 boats
leave every morning. Many (it should be most*) of these are fishermen that
have lost there means of making a living. BP has hired them and is paying
them well. At this time we have no oil in Panama City.
MY FIRST POINT, don't do anything that will affect the financial viability
of BP. You should encourage purchase of BP fuel, you need to keep BP healthy
so the stock price can rise, this makes BP stronger so it can continue to
pay cleanup crews and claims.
I am on this marina everyday and I know most of the fishermen, the fisherman
are thrilled with the pay from BP.
A small boat of 20ft gets $000 dollars day, This is $50,000 a year for a 5
day work week. Fuel and supplies are paid by BP. The larger the boat the
higher the pay, $000 a day is the highest I have heard. That's $50,000 a
year, and the expenses are paid. Deckhands are getting $00 dollars a day,
that is $0,000 a year. Most of these deckhands never saw $0,000 a year in
The pay is so high that the shrimpers are stopping shrimping and going to
work for BP, on oil patrol. The same is happening in Apalachicola Fl, (about
100 miles SE of me) the oyster capitol of this area. Our local oyster bar
had to find a new source for oysters, his oystermen went to work for BP.
A quote from our local newspaper,
"APALACHICOLA - With compensation checks easily available, oystering has
slowed to a crawl on Apalachicola Bay. ...Seafood houses across the county
say they are able to obtain barely 10 percent of their normal allotment of
oysters. There are plenty of oysters. ( just know one to harvest them)
Same with Apalachicola shrimpers, There is no oil and plenty of shrimp.
Panama City Beach is a tourist area, when the oil gets here the thousands of
hotel rooms will not have tourists, the housekeepers won't have work, the
restaurants won't have customers and waitresses tips will dwindle. All
business will be affected. Real estate is already greatly affected, people
don't want to buy with oil coming and some know prices will be lower in 3 or
Now back to my situation, for the last 7 years we have been open 10 hrs a
day, 7 days a week, 363 days a year.
We will continue working until we can't. The plan was 7 to 10 more years,
now I don't know if it will be one more month or one more year. At this
point I am confident BP will pay for any losses that I may have in the
future, but they need to continue to be financially strong.
I'm sure you're aware that the BP stock price is down 44% since the spill
started. This means they have lost 73 billion in market capitalization. It
is time to help the company recover rather than do anything that could
affect the price further.
Many retirees rely on BP dividends for retirement income. If you push the
idea to create an escrow fund and cause the dividend to be unpaid, this will
lower the stock price, further weakening the company. Without those
dividends the retirees will find other stocks to get there income**.
This could cause BP to fail.
If you allow BP to stay strong, the 15 to 20 billion dollars of profit they
generate every year will be more
than enough to pay cleanup and claims.
Please stay focused on the unintended consequences of creating an escrow
**Recreational fisherman are jumping on this gravy train, it should have
fishermen first. Retirees are supplementing their retirement with their
recreational fishing boat.
** ( starting with 44% less money)