New Regulations Cause Concerns at BP

In an interview on Friday, British Petroleum addressed a bill that is currently making its way through Congress.  A representative announced that the bill would harm BP’s ability to pay victim compensations for the oil spill.

The new bill in Washington prohibits companies from drilling for oil in the outer continental shelf if they have a history of more than ten deaths at offshore or onshore workplaces.   It also stops companies who have broken a large number of environmental laws while drilling.

Congress has not given any specific reason for the timing of the bill or its implementations, but BP is the only company that currently fits the qualifications listed.  The Vice President for BP in the United States, David Nagle, says that this bill could make it more difficult for BP to pay for damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.

According to Nagle “If we are unable to keep those fields going, that is going to have a substantial impact on our cash flow,” he also claims that these limitation “makes it harder for us to… fund these programs” that are designed to help with the environmental disaster caused by the spill.

BP has pledged to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to help pay both government penalties incurred and claims against the company as a result of the spill.  However, the New York Times says the company is not attempting to avoid the payment, despite numerous complaints targeted at the escrow pledge.

The claims filed by businesses and individuals in all the states affected by the spill have not get been totaled.  The numbers are growing and BP has already lost a great deal of money over the spill.  Payments increased more than usual last month and the company says it has lost a total of $8 billion thus far.

If that alone were not enough cause for concern, BP has affirmed it will give $100 million to a foundation which supports rig workers who are out of work and another $500 million to research the consequences of the spill.  The company is doing its best to take responsibility and demonstrate to the public that they are making amends to everyone their mistake has impacted.

The tragedy is the largest environmental disaster in United States history.  BP estimates it will cost them $32 billion overall.  In the second quarter alone it has resulted in a record $16.9 billion loss for the organization.