FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2010
Contact: Kristina Johnson
Senator Murkowski Blocks Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act
Bill Would Hold Oil Companies, Not Taxpayers, Accountable for Disasters
Washington, D.C. - Today, a bill aimed at holding oil companies like BP accountable for covering the costs of disasters like the offshore drilling blowout in the Gulf of Mexico was blocked by Senator Murkowski.
The Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act was introduced by Senators Robert Menendez, Bill Nelson and Frank Lautenberg. It would raise the liability caps for oil companies from $75 million to $10 billion to help ensure that they pay the full costs of economic and environmental disasters caused by their negligence.
Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
It's troubling at a time like this to see that some of our nation's leaders are still more interested in protecting the oil industry than protecting American taxpayers.
There is no limit on the damage done to wildlife. There is no limit on the damage done to coastal communities. There is no limit on the loss of jobs in fishing and tourism. There shouldn't be a limit on the amount that oil companies like BP are required to pay for cleanup.
BP makes enough money in less than a week to cover the total cost of oil spill response efforts so far. Hardworking Americans should not be left to foot the bill for the oil industry's recklessness.
We need to free up the federal government to respond fully to this disaster with assurance that BP will pay for every cent of it.
The fishing and tourism industries in the Gulf are expected to take a hit of roughly $5 billion as a result of the BP disaster. We need to make sure that people who lose their livelihoods and watch their natural environment destroyed are adequately compensated.
BP made this mess and they need to clean it up. It's very simple.
BP Accountability, By the Numbers
[Courtesy of Progressive Media]
11...Number of lives lost in the disaster.
$450 MILLION…The estimated total BP has spent so far to clean up its catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
$93 MILLION…BP’s daily profit during the first quarter of this year.
5…The approximate number of days of BP’s profits that would cover its total cleanup costs thus far.
11 percent…The percentage of Americans who hold a positive view of BP, according to a new poll from NBC and the Wall Street Journal.
2 percent…The size of the current leak relative to what BP promised federal regulators it could handle in its drilling permit application.
260…The number of failure modes the supposedly “fail-safe” blowout preventer used on BP’s leaking Mississippi Canyon 252 well had.
6…The number of dead dolphins that have washed up along the Gulf Coast.
87...The number of dead sea turtles that have washed up along the Gulf coast.
6,414…The number of claims filed against BP so far, mostly from fishermen and others for lost wages.
400,000 pounds…The amount of hair collected and being sent to the Gulf to be used to soak up oil. In response the spontaneous, nationwide outpouring of hair, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration issued a fact sheet stating: "Recent reports of a need for hair are exaggerated and not helpful to the response effort.” Meanwhile BP may still attempt a widely-ridiculed “junk shot” using golf balls, old rope, and shredded tires to slow or stop the leaking oil.