Rep. Debbie Halvorson (IL-11) released the following statement today on reports that British Petroleum (BP) is preparing to distribute $10 billion in dividend payments to stockholders and launch a $50 million television ad campaign:
"The devastating impact this oil spill is having on families and precious American resources, wildlife and seashores is reprehensible.
Families are losing their livelihoods and businesses are threatened because of BP's failure to prevent this disaster. While those in the region wait for BP to contain the spill, I am angered by reports that BP is planning to divert billions to stockholders and tens of millions to TV advertisements. These payments will not remove one drop of oil from the Gulf, and TV ads will not help one small business get back on its feet.
This action would be irresponsible at a time when BP should be completely focused on mitigating this disaster, and they should suspend these plans until the spill is contained and families and businesses hurt by the spill are compensated."
After listening to concerns from constituents about BP's reaction to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Halvorson signed a letter with several of her colleagues demanding BP, "halt [their] planned dividend payout and cancel [their] advertising campaign until [they have done the hard work of capping the well, cleaning up the Gulf Coast and making whole those whose very livelihoods are threatened by this catastrophe."