WASHINGTON, June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today in response to President Obama's announcement that BP will set up a $20 billion accountability fund with independent, third-party oversight to pay claims from victims of the BP oil spill, set up a $100 million fund to compensate rig workers, and halt dividend payments this year:
"BP must be held accountable and responsible for paying the full costs of cleaning up the Gulf and restoring the local economy. Following today's meeting with the President, BP executives agreed to create an accountability fund to pay its obligations to the American people -- as proposed by House Democrats earlier this week. And if it takes more than $20 billion, BP will have to cover the full amount for the families, workers, and small business owners of the Gulf Coast.
"Responding to calls from Congress, BP has agreed to suspend all dividend payments this year and create a $100 million fund to compensate the workers impacted by the closure of other deep water oil rigs.
"We will monitor BP's payments to those hit hardest by this crisis, and will not hesitate to pass tough legislation if BP fails to follow through on its responsibilities.
"By blocking the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act, Congressional Republicans are opposing legislation that demands financial accountability from BP and Big Oil and protecting oil profits at the expense of our economy and our environment. Democrats will keep standing with America's middle class and small businesses – on the Gulf Coast and across the country – and preserving the public interest over special interests."
SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House