In a letter to Dr. Anthony Hayward, the group chief executive of BP,
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar note the many public statements
from BP officials dismissing the $75 million-per-incident statutory
liability cap, and ask for a formal clarification as to whether those
dismissals are company policy.
"The public has a right to a clear understanding of BP's commitment
to redress all of the damage that has occurred or that will occur in
the future as a result of the oil spill," the administration officials
write. "Therefore, in the event that our understanding is inaccurate,
we request immediate public clarification of BP's true intentions."
A copy of their letter can be read HERE.
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Napolitano and Salazar were referring to, among other comments, Hayward telling Reuters on April 30
that the company is "taking full responsibility for the spill and we
will clean it up, and where people can present legitimate claims for
damages we will honor them. We are going to be very, very aggressive in
all of that."
In addition, in his May 11, 2010, testimony before the Senate Energy
and Natural Resources Committee, Lamar McKay, chairman and president of
BP America, said, "We are the responsible party. Our obligation is to
deal with the spill, clean it up and make sure the impacts of that
spill are compensated and we are going to do that. ... BP will pay all
necessary clean-up costs and is committed to paying legitimate claims
for other loss and damages caused by the spill." McKay also called the
statutory cap "irrelevant."
"Based on these statements, we understand that BP will not in any
way seek to rely on the potential $75 million statutory cap to refuse
to provide compensation to any individuals or others harmed by the oil
spill, even if more than $75 million is required to provide full
compensation to all claimants, and BP will not seek reimbursement from
the American taxpayers, the United States Government, or the Oil Spill
Liability Trust Fund for any amount," Napolitano and Salazar write.