Published: Aug 21, 2010 2:56 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 22, 2010 4:30 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. government officials including the president talked tough about BP PLC for months, even though it was working hand-in-hand with the oil giant to cap its runaway Gulf well.

The government also chose to effectively be the company's banker, allowing future drilling revenues to potentially be used as collateral for a victim compensation fund.

A new round of investigative hearings is set to begin Monday on BP's home turf in Houston, and the disaster is largely off the front pages. And there is some worry BP could get a slap on the wrist from its behind-the-scenes partner. That includes states hurt by the spill that are hoping for large fines because they may get a share of the money.