Pressure mounts on BP to set up funds for claims -

Pressure mounts on BP to set up funds for claims

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is joining at least two Gulf states in calling for BP to set up an escrow account to pay claims related to the Gulf oil spill.

Obama's top political adviser, David Axelrod, tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that Obama will demand that BP set up an account with "substantial" reserves to pay the claims.

BP's board meets tomorrow to discuss deferring its second-quarter dividend and putting the money into escrow until the company's liabilities from the spill are known.

Axelrod says the White House wants an independent, third party to administer the escrow account and compensate those with "legitimate" claims.

He says Obama will make clear in his meeting Wednesday with BP's top officials that he expects BP to take care of the people affected by the spill.

The attorney general in Florida and the state treasurer in Louisiana want BP to put a total of $7.5 billion in escrow accounts to compensate the states and their residents for damage now and in the future.

Obama will visit the Gulf Coast tomorrow and Tuesday, and plans an Oval Office address Tuesday night after his return to Washington.

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