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.
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.