Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement in response to BP's announcement that it will forego dividend payments for this year and set up a $20 billion independent escrow fund to pay out claims to victims of the oil spill.
"This is the first thing BP has done right since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. CEO Tony Hayward has said: "I want my life back.' Well the 11 men killed in this disaster will never have their lives back. And for millions of others that reside on the Gulf Coast, life will never be the same. While no amount of money will ever be enough, I am pleased that BP has decided to pay victims instead of shareholders. Congress must closely monitor BP's payments to ensure they are living up to their responsibilities."
On June 9, Hare signed a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward calling on him to suspend a quarterly dividend payment to shareholders and the company's television advertising campaign to focus solely on the task at hand of plugging the leak and cleaning up the Gulf Coast.