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White House could take over oil spill claims

WASHINGTON — Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs says the administration is ready to take over the handling of oil spill damage claims from BP if the British company doesn’t set up an “independent entity” to do it.

Speaking from Washington, Gibbs said the oil giant’s claims processing work has been unsatisfactory. He noted that Obama “has the legal authority” to make the claims process independent. And Gibbs also said “the best way to prevail upon BP is to take the claims process away from BP.”

Interviewed on CBS’s “The Early Show,” Gibbs pledged “that will happen. … The president will either legally compel them or come to an agreement with BP to get out of the claims process, give that to an independent entity.”

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