Washington, DC—Senators Robert Menendez, Bill Nelson, Frank Lautenberg and Jeanne Shaheen held a press conference this morning to discuss the economic effects of the BP oil spill and the need to hold oil polluters like BP fully accountable for the cost of the spills they cause.
The Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) released a report this morning detailing the destructive economic impact of BP’s negligence. The Senators called on Republicans to stop protecting BP and join Democrats to ensure that BP – not the American taxpayer – pays for its negligence, no matter what the cost.
“People understand the ridiculousness of the claims some have made that it is ‘un-American’ to hold a multi-billion dollar foreign corporation accountable for the disaster it caused,” said Senator Menendez. “This is a chance to show if we stand with big oil companies or with small businesses, fisheries, and coastal communities. There should be no legal wiggle-room for oil companies that devastate coastal businesses and communities now or in the future.”
“Right now, our top priorities are capping the well and protecting and cleaning up the Gulf and Gulf coast,” said Senator Bill Nelson. “The cost of all this is going to be astronomical. This is why we must hold BP accountable.”
“BP has committed an act of treachery in the Gulf that will go down as one of the most deplorable catastrophes in American history,” said Senator Lautenberg. “It’s clear that a $75 million liability cap won’t come close to covering the economic damages caused by this disaster in the Gulf. Whether it is fishermen, hotel workers or shop owners, our nation depends on an unspoiled coastline. Taxpayers shouldn’t be the ones paying to take care of the people and communities hurt by BP’s pollution.”
“It is unacceptable that while BP made more than $16 billion in profits last year, they are currently only responsible for $75 million of the expected billions in economic damages from this catastrophic oil spill,” said Senator Shaheen. “BP and the contractors it hired are to blame for this disaster. They should be on the hook for the economic damages caused by this mess – not taxpayers.”