Grijalva Leads Effort to Stop $5.35 Billion Tax Windfall to BP in Deepwater Horizon Settlement
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today led 52 of his Congressional colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting she prohibit British Petroleum (BP) from claiming $15.3 billion of their $20 billion settlement for the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill as a business expense, which would allow the negligent oil company to secure a tax windfall of up to $5.35 billion at the expense of the American people. BP has been found “grossly negligent” in causing the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and created the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history.
The letter reads, in part:
“The tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon must be answered with justice for the people, economy and wildlife of the Gulf Coast—not further tax benefits for BP.”… “[W]e are concerned that without strict language to the contrary, BP will seek to claim the remaining $15.3 billion as a business expense, displacing the burden of that uncollected revenue onto every other taxpayer while securing a tax windfall worth $5.35 billion for itself.”
Rep. Grijalva released the following statement:
“For five years, BP has done its best to shirk its responsibilities to the American people as we recover from a disaster caused entirely by the oil giant’s negligence,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Leaving open the possibility for BP to claim the majority of their settlement as tax deductible expenses only allows the company to exploit the American people once again. Explicit conditions about taxes in settlements are becoming more standard – we’re asking Attorney General Lynch to consider the factsand make it crystal clear that BP will not be allowed to get a tax windfall fromthe disaster they caused.”
Rep. Grijalva’s letter is endorsed by 9 organizations, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA, The Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, Energy Action Coalition, Institute for Policy Studies – Climate Policy Program.
Rep. Grijalva’s letter is available here.