Landrieu Calls For Extension of BP’s Rig Worker Compensation Fund
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is calling on BP to extend the deadline to apply for relief under a $100 million compensation fund for rig workers who have lost their jobs under the Obama administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling. The Associated Press reported this week that fewer than 400 people have applied for relief under the program, an indication that few rig workers have been laid off as a result of the moratorium.
But Landrieu, in a letter sent today to BP Chief Managing Director Bob Dudley, said she believes the ongoing moratorium could cause companies to lay off employees in the near future.
The letter said:
According to the administrator of the fund, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, only 365 applicants have come forward. I believe this is because many companies, to their credit, are keeping their workers on the payroll, despite the uncertainty of knowing exactly when new permits will commence. Yet, with each passing day, their balance sheets take significant hits and it becomes harder for these companies to maintain their employees. As a consequence, the demand for this fund may be on the rise over the next two months or until the moratorium is lifted.