Luis Gutierrez calls for BP banned from federal oil drilling leases

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Congressman Says BP Should Stand for “Banned Permanently” When It Comes To Profiting From U.S. Oil Drilling Leases

Luis V. Gutierrez Pens Letter to Interior Secretary, Uses Floor Speech, Blog Post to Urge Colleagues to Join Him

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) has written a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar demanding that future oil drilling leases be ruled out and current oil leases reexamined for the giant corporation BP. Rep. Gutierrez said that when it comes to profiting from American oil production and exploration, the U.S. government should consider BP to stand for “Banned Permanently.” Rep. Gutierrez is circulating the letter to his colleagues urging them to join him as signatories to the letter. He also used a speech before the U.S. House of Representatives and a blog article to publicize his effort.

“We kick kids out of school, ban athletes from sports, and give people life sentences with fewer warnings than we have given BP and BP is responsible for much more serious and life-threatening catastrophes over the years,” said Rep. Gutierrez. “At some point the Congress and the American people have to stand up and say enough is enough, no more warnings, no more deaths, no more spills, you’re out of here, bye-bye.”

Rep. Gutierrez said on the House floor today (at approximately 2:00 p.m. today):

Almost a month into one of our worst manmade environmental and economic disasters and BP has worked harder to minimize public understanding and outrage than to minimize destruction to the Gulf of Mexico.

Citing the company’s environmental and worker safety record in recent decades, the Congressman’s letter to Secretary of the Interior Salazar says, in part (full text here):

Given this appalling record of misconduct and disregard, we ask that BP be banned permanently from receiving any future drilling leases. Their conduct at other operation sites indicates a blatant disregard for the lives of their workers, the preservation of the environment, and the millions of U.S. citizens who could be impacted by an environmental disaster.

In a blog article posted at Huffington Post, the Congressman wrote:

The President has used tough words and Secretary Salazar is pledging to get to the bottom of what happened and what BP can do now to clean up the disaster and compensate the families who lost loved ones or lost livelihoods due to BP’s mistakes. But I want to take this a step further: Prove to the American people you have changed your ways, BP, before we even consider another license from the American people to make astronomical profits from our oil.

The Congressman said he would recruit signatories to his letter to Secretary Salazar throughout the week and then keep up pressure on the Secretary and the Obama Administration until he receives a satisfactory response.


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