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PENSACOLA, Fla. – The chief White House spokesman says President Barack Obama is ready to seize the damage claims process from oil giant BP unless it agrees to set up an “independent entity” to do the job.

Robert Gibbs tells television networks the aim is to compensate individuals and businesses whose livelihoods have been thrown into crisis mode in the wake of the April 20 explosion, fire and sinking of a BP’s oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The claims issue is several that Obama will address when he speaks to the nation from the Oval Office Tuesday night.

Another White House official said that Obama, in that presentation, will outline a clear plan for responding to the spill and helping the country to surmount America’s worst-ever environmental disaster.


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