Bennet: BP Agreement to Set Up Fund Important Step to Ensure Gulf Recovers, Taxpayers Not on Hook

Move Comes After Bennet Calls for Special Account to Pay for Economic Damages, Clean-up Costs

Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, issued the following statement on BP’s preliminary agreement with the Obama administration to place $20 billion in an escrow for those affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

“Although we still have a long way to go before we get to the bottom of what caused this disaster and how to prevent something like this from happening again, this is an important step to make the Gulf whole,” said Bennet.  “It is simply the right thing to do. Stopping the ongoing flow of oil into the Gulf and protecting coastal communities and wildlife remains the priority, but even as those efforts continue, we must work to ensure that taxpayers don’t foot the bill for cleaning up this mess.  BP must follow through on its promise to pay for economic losses and clean-up costs, without delay in payments or any attempt to evade responsibility for damages.”

Earlier this week, Bennet joined a group of senators in calling on BP to immediately establish a $20 billion special account to cover the costs necessary to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and compensate Gulf Coast residents and businesses that have suffered economic damages.

Bennet has also called for a Justice Department investigation of the owner of the destroyed oil rig, Transocean Ltd., after reports that it intended to distribute $1 billion to private shareholders. He has cosponsored a bill to give subpoena power to a Presidential appointed commission investigating the spill and has said BP should cease a $50 million advertising campaign until it settles claims and lays out plans to pay for the cleanup efforts and the costs of the economic and environmental damage.