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BP grant for Florida gets mixed reviews

April 12, 2011 at 2:08 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 12 (UPI) -- A $30 million marketing grant given to seven counties in Florida by British oil giant BP fails to meet statewide needs, a county tourism director says.

D.T. Minich of Pinellas County said the money "could have been used more effectively for promoting the entire state and the entire Gulf Coast region," the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Tuesday.

Minich said counties beyond the Panhandle region, which received the funds, were also suffering from a drop in business due to the 200 million gallon oil spill that began in April 2010 after a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott's office said the $30 million did not prevent the state from suing BP.

"Nothing we've done so far prevents us from filing a claim, and we'll be prepared to file if that's what it takes," gubernatorial spokesman Lane Wright said.

"But today is evidence that BP wants to be part of the solution."

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