MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – New Attorney General Luther Strange will personally represent the state of Alabama in its suit against oil giant BP.
"I just think that it will strengthen our case with the state's attorney general in the courtroom" Strange told a group of reporters Wednesday.
To date Alabama has received $124,953,550 in damages from BP for claims relating to the spill. Strange cites Alabama's loss of revenue as more dire than any of the negative effects suffered by Louisiana and Mississippi.
"Alabama was the most hurt state in the gulf by the oil spill" Strange said. "Those other gulf states don't have the beaches we have that draw so many people."
Louisiana has received by far the most money from BP totaling more than $364 million. Of all of the states that border the Gulf of Mexico Alabama has received the second most money. That being said, Strange said he has been disappointed with the way Kenneth Feinberg, the man pegged by the Federal Government to head up the BP Relief Fund, has handled claims from Alabama business owners and workers in the Gulf.
"I don't think that the procedures he's been using up to now have been very transparent or responsive and that he needs to start paying people who've been harmed promptly and fully."
The attorney general said he wasn't sure on how much the state is owed and he wouldn't speculate by giving it a price tag.
Strange said he met with Feinberg last week and urged him to follow through with his pledge to come through for those who were negatively affected by the environmental disaster.
"He promised to get us information about his procedures with more transparency but I'm still very concerned with the way he's conducted himself."
Friday, the attorney general will appear in a New Orleans Federal court room in front of the judge hearing all of the suits against BP.