Activists Criticize Plan to Use BP’s Future Drilling Revenues to Back Spill Fund
Activists are taking issue with a plan being negotiated between BP and the Obama administration for feeding the fund meant to compensate victims of the oil spill. The plan would require the company to use revenues from its future offshore drilling projects as collateral for a $20 billion escrow fund. The Wall Street Journal, in a story I wrote about yesterday, notes that the agreement would “give both sides an incentive to continue production in the Gulf, scene of the U.S.’s worst-ever offshore oil spill.”
In a letter sent to President Obama today, Public Citizen outlines two problems with the agreement. The letter says:
- It threatens to inhibit ongoing criminal probes of the company’s probable negligence. A criminal investigation resulting in sanctions imposed against BP – including banning the company from federal leases in the Gulf – will be at odds with the government’s agreement to use BPs leases as collateral for the Fund.
- It ensures that BP maintains a robust presence in offshore oil drilling despite indications that BP’s management of such operations have placed workers and the environment at risk.