Good Question: ‘Reply All’: BP Fine, Commercials & 1st Lady Pay

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – I’ve gotten tons of emails about the record fine BP will pay because of the oil spill: $4.5 million.

Randy from River Falls, Norm in Montevideo, and Bill of St. Paul asked: Where does the BP fine money go?

It’s part criminal fine, part settlement.

For the fine part, a little more than $1 billion will go to the Coast Guard. They have an Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which pays out claims for cleanup after spills.

Some $2.4 billion will go to the Gulf Coast for wildlife and coastal restoration.

And then $350 million will go to fund research and training to improve oil spill prevention and response efforts.

Sheila Wurtzberger from Sleepy Eye, Minn., asked: Does the first lady get a salary?

Absolutely not. She has a staff, though. About 25 people. Not much different from when Laura Bush was first lady. The highest paid staffer is her chief of staff who makes $172,000.

Kurt Lawarson from Minneapolis wondered: How much of every show is a commercial?

This hasn’t changed much over the past decade. Every half hour block is 22 minutes of show, 8 minutes of commercial.

In Europe, the government limits ads to 12 minutes per hour. Here, we have 16 minutes per hour.

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