Today, BP announced that they are halting dividend payments for the year. Last week, Rep. Ben Ray Luján joined 40 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to send a letter to Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, calling on him to halt dividend payments and marketing campaigns until the oil spill is cleaned up and those affected in the Gulf are fairly compensated. Despite the uncertainty over the Gulf clean up and the compensation for those affected by the spill, BP had initially planned a $10 billion dividend payment. The announcement followed a meeting at the White House with President Obama. BP also announced that they will finance a $20 billion escrow account to pay claims of people who were impacted by the Gulf oil spill.
"This is important progress toward fairly compensating those whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted by the oil spill," said Rep. Luján. "Now BP must focus on stopping and cleaning up the spill."