WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a group of 55 Senators to call for BP PLC CEO Tony Hayward to establish a special account to be used for the payment of economic damages and clean-up costs caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
“We believe the establishment of the $20 billion account to compensate victims and provide for clean-up is a useful first step for demonstrating that BP intends to meet its commitments,” the Senators wrote. “Although creating this account at this level in no way limits BP’s liability, we believe it will do more to improve BP’s public image than the costly public relations campaign your company has launched.”
The letter, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), calls for the fund to be administered by an independent trustee. The fund does not limit BP’s liability but acts as an act of good faith and ensures that BP will not evade responsibility for the disaster.
Brown has been working to protect taxpayers from paying for the disaster and raising the cap in liability so that BP takes responsibility. The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act would ensure that Big Oil polluters, not taxpayers or small businesses, pay for oil spills. The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Trust Fund Act (S. 3306) would eliminate the $1 billion per incident cap on claims against the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and allow community responders to access the fund for preparation and mitigation up front, rather than waiting for reimbursement later. The bill would also eliminate the $500 million cap on liability for natural resources damages.