BP claim please stop by Obama

We need to make sure BP pays every dime for damage to the Gulf Coast and its people. (Photo copyright Marta Evry)

With President Obama’s announcement that BP will set aside $20 billion in an escrow fund to pay out for damages to the Gulf Coast and its people, we’ve passed an important first step in making sure BP pays every dime for its oil disaster.

While the President reiterated that $20 billion isn’t a cap, it’s important to know how much more BP could and should pay. One analyst said it could be as much as $63 billion; I suspect and hope it will be in the hundreds of billions. Either way, $20 billion should be considered a down payment.

Setting aside money from BP is a good first step. But Congress has a role, too. The Senate will soon debate legislation to make BP pay every dime for its oil disaster. Anything less is a taxpayer funded bailout of BP.

More than 44,000 people have already signed our petition to the Senate to make BP pay. Can you add your name and help us reach 50,000 signatures before we deliver our petition to the Senate next week?

BP is counting on the federal government, and by extension the taxpayers, to save the company from its own disaster. They’ve even hired bailout veterans Goldman Sachs for advice on how to limit financial liability.

As long as companies like BP know that the government will be there to bail them out when things go wrong, they will continue to take the kinds of excessive risks that led to the Gulf oil disaster and the financial meltdown.

It is only when they are forced to take full financial responsibility for their mistakes, the same way ordinary Americans would be, that they will stop taking these dangerous chances. That’s the responsibility side of the “free market” always being touted by corporate interests.

This is BP’s mess, and we’re determined to make sure BP pays every dime. We need to stop the BP bailout.

Help us reach 50,000 signatures before we deliver our petition to the Senate next week. Click here to add your name.