Did we screw ourselves?

Our state and local leaders have been so quick to declare that the beaches, seafood and Gulf Coast are doing fine that we may have screwed up the chances of the remaining outstanding BP oil spill claims to be paid. The promised BP restoration dollars may be drying up, too.

BP said in a 29-page document released on July 7 that it should no longer be responsible for paying claims filed by victims of the leak. The British company is arguing that the waters and region have recovered enough to do without the payouts.

All BP has to do is show the ads being run by every tourist development commission along the coast to prove its point. By over stating our recovery—before all the data is accumulated—in an effort to fill condos and hotel rooms, we’ve given BP all the evidence it needs to stop cutting checks.

Yes, we have screwed ourselves,