BP denies Alabama's $148 million claim, Governor Riley forced to cut education budget

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - British Petroleum has denied the State of Alabama's $148 million claim, and Governor Bob Riley increases proration as a result, all while blaming Attorney General Troy King.

BP tells FOX 6 News that the claim was denied in part because of pending litigation.  In a statement, Governor Riley's office says due to the claim being denied, the governor will increase proration by 2% to balance the 2010 budget, which ends September 30th.

"If that lawsuit hadn't paralyzed our negotiations, we wouldn't have to make these additional cuts to education funding," said Governor Riley.  "One man made a brash, reckless decision to sue BP while the state was still working to recover lost tax revenue from the company.  He did it without consulting me or local officials on our coast."

Attorney General Troy King released the following statement in response.

"We've tried it the Governor's way and it did not work.  Now it is time for him to get out of the way and let us do our job.  It is obvious that BP is not dealing in good faith and is using every excuse possible to keep from paying its obligations both to the individuals and business with claims as well as to the state.  You can't deal with a bully by bowing, scraping and begging. I said it before and it is now obvious that BP never had any intention of paying this claim.  The fact is BP has not paid the other states that have filed claims either.  We are not dealing with people who have the best interest of the state at heart, they are a for-profit cooperation and their first loyalty is to their stockholders, no matter how many slick commercials they run saying otherwise."

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All Rights Reserved.