Rep. Melancon Calls on BP to Suspend Bonuses for Top Execs

June 23, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Congressman Charlie Melancon (LA-03) called on BP to suspend bonus payments to top-ranking executives and apply the money toward helping Louisianians impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf. In a letter to BP Chairman Carl-Henrik Svanberg, Congressman Melancon noted that BP CEO Tony Hayward’s 2009 bonus of $3 million would cover the cost of salaries for 50 offshore workers who have lost their jobs due to the moratorium imposed because of the oil spill.

“I find it inexcusable for top BP executives to claim seven-figure bonuses while Louisianians suffer as a result of your company’s drilling disaster in the Gulf,” wrote Congressman Melancon.

Melancon continued, “These bonuses would be better applied toward meeting the company’s obligations to the thousands of Louisianians whose lives have been destroyed as a result of this disaster.”

Melancon concluded, “Executives who preside over a corporate culture that promotes cutting corners over safety, mislead the public, and stonewall Congress in their testimony do not deserve performance bonuses by any standard or measure. Suspending bonuses for top-ranking executives represents, in my view, a small first step in the long process of restoring some semblance of trust between the people of Louisiana and BP.”

Click here to view the full letter.

Congressman Melancon represents in Congress the areas of coastal Louisiana most directly affected by the oil leak, including Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary and southern Jefferson Parishes. The Deepwater Horizon platform was located 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana’s Third Congressional District.

Last week, Congressman Melancon sent BP CEO Tony Hayward a letter calling on the company to pay the full salary of every oil rig worker who has been laid off due to the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf. Melancon noted that the direct wages lost by workers during the shutdown may be as high as $330 million per month, according to one estimate.

The offshore energy industry is a major economic engine for south Louisiana, providing thousands of jobs and supporting numerous locally-based service companies in Congressman Melancon’s Congressional district. Congressman Melancon has been pressing the Administration to end the moratorium on deep-water drilling and clarify new regulations for shallow-water drilling that have created a “de facto” moratorium in the Gulf.

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