This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," June 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," it's Obama versus BP. Under intense pressure from the president, oil executives agree to a $20 billion victim's fund and much more. Will Obama get a political boost? And will the beleaguered BP survive?
And experts speak out on the administration's deepwater drilling moratorium. Was it driven by safety concerns or politics?
Plus, the gun lobby gets in bed with Chuck Schumer? The NRA sells out on the First Amendment in a move its members may come to regret.
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report," I'm Paul Gigot.
Under intense pressure from President Obama, BP announced this week it would put $20 billion into a fund to compensate victims of the Gulf oil spill, and said it would cancel shareholder dividends for the rest of the year. BP also said it would pay another $100 million to a fund to help oil rig workers sidelined by the administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling. The deal was worked out in a four-hour meeting Wednesday at the White House.
A day before, BP CEO Tony Hayward faced a contentious grilling on Capitol Hill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP: Since I became CEO, we've made progress. We have made it very clear to everyone in the company that —
REP. HENRY WAXMAN, D-CALIF.: Have you met that commitment that you made and —
HAYWARD: And we made major changes. We made major changes to our —
WAXMAN: You made major changes but now we see this disaster in the Gulf. Is that indicating that you didn't keep that commitment?
HAYWARD: And one of the reasons that I am so distraught—
WAXMAN: Could you answer yes or no?
HAYWARD: — is that—
WAXMAN: I don't want to know whether you're distraught. I want to know whether you think you've kept your commitment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIGOT: Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal Business World columnist Holman Jenkins; opinionjournal.com columnist John fund; and Washington columnist Kim Strassel.
So, Holman, did BP have a choice whether or not to agree to the $20 billion?