U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13) today denounced pay bonuses for executives of the company that operated the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last year.
Transocean announced it is awarding its top executives bonuses for achieving the "best year in safety." The Deepwater Horizon explosion last April killed 11 people and spilled 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 86 straight days. Transocean's bonuses included a $5.8 million compensation package to its president and chief executive officer, according to The Associated Press.
"Transocean issuing bonuses for its safety record is a travesty," said Buchanan, who represents a Gulf Coast district. "The Deepwater spill was the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history. Rather than bragging about a terrible safety record and rewarding incompetence, the company should be focused on doing a better job and ensuring that another disaster never happens again."
A national commission created to investigate the accident concluded that Transocean, BP and Halliburton all made "egregious mistakes" and that "each company is responsible for one or more egregiously bad decisions."
Buchanan, an opponent of offshore drilling in the Gulf, is the lead sponsor of the "Oil Spill Prevention Act." Buchanan's bill would eliminate liability limits to hold oil companies accountable for offshore spills and reform the federal oversight process to ensure disasters like the Deepwater Horizon never happen again.