One week after Rep. Debbie Halvorson (IL-11) called on BP to suspend plans to distribute $10 billion in dividend payments to stockholders, the British company announced that it will not be paying any dividend payments this year and instead will create a $20 billion escrow account for oil spill victims.
"I am pleased to see that BP has decided to listen-not only to me and my colleagues, who have called for increased accountability in the wake of this horrible economic and environmental disaster, but to the thousands in the Gulf of Mexico whose lives have been devastated," said Halvorson. "I will continue to work to hold BP accountable for the negligence that has led to this disaster, and ensure the company-not the taxpayers-are on the hook for this clean up."
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."
In her first term in Congress, Halvorson has fought to increase incentives for renewable forms of energy that will create good-paying jobs in America in an environmentally sustainable way. Among these incentives are increased tax credits for clean energy production and additional funding for green jobs training at local community colleges.