+ Another oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.
+ There will be no special session to deal with Florida’s response to the oil spill in September because the legislative leadership thinks it isn’t necessary (more after the jump).
+ Florida’s oil spill recovery commission questioned the fairness of Kenneth Feinberg’s oil spill claims process after hearing from state Attorney General Bill McCollum.
+ The current compensation regime is “wrong for Florida,” The Palm Beach Post argues in an editorial.
+ BP and Feinberg both say they’re willing to meet with McCollum to discuss his concerns about the claims process, but U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder still hasn’t responded (more after the jump).
+ More than 5,000 workers took part in “pro-energy” rallies in Texas against additional regulations on oil drilling. Environmentalists said the protests were put on by “AstroTurf” groups that ignored the job-creating potential of alternative energy.
+ BP’s advertising spending tripled in the wake of the spill.
Special session off
State lawmakers said Wednesday that they clearly won’t be meeting in September. According to the St. Petersburg Times, House Speaker Larry Cretul doesn’t see the need to hold a special session at all:
State law allowed the two presiding officers to convene their own special session. But Cretul, R-Ocala, told lawmakers in a letter that he believes any legislation in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill can wait until next year’s regular legislative session in March.
Among the proposals under consideration: economic relief for businesses and tougher legal protections for those making oil damage claims.
“It would appear that while there are some issues where legislative action may be appropriate, there are no issues that require immediate formal legislative action,” Cretul told lawmakers.
As for Senate President Jeff Atwater?
I don’t know how I could have tried any harder,” Atwater said about the House’s decision that a special session is unnecessary this year. He said a special session is both “timely and necessary.”
Feinberg, BP pledge to meet with McCollum
The state Attorney General sent letters to BP and Attorney General Eric Holder last week voicing his concerns about the oil spill claims process, which he says could limit Floridians’ ability to receive compensation because it includes “onerous” geographic and time-limit restrictions.
Feinberg has agreed to meet with him in the coming weeks (and also pledged to meet with the Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force), as has BP. (See its response, sent earlier this week, below.) Holder has yet to respond, according to McCollum’s office.
After speaking at the task force’s meeting Wednesday, McCollum said he felt Troy King, his Alabama counterpart, had been “way premature” in filing a lawsuit against BP.