As you know, Floridians are disproportionately affected by the actions of British Pretoleum that led to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm talking to Floridians every day who enraged at BP and want to make sure that BP pays the full price for it's actions. I'm listening.
I also want to listen to you. I'm going to be one of the leading voices in holding BP accountable. I want your feedback. Tell me actions you'd like to see taken to make sure that BP pays the price for this oil spill.
(Transcript of video below...)
Rep. Kendrick Meek on the BP Oil Spill
America's Future Now Conference
June 9, 2010
Human error, criminal activity, British Petroleum -- one of the biggest companies on the face of the earth, eleven people died, individuals are still affected by it, people have lost their jobs and they're still giving dividends.
Ladies and gentlemen, your purpose right now is greater than ever. You are supposed to make people like me uncomfortable. You are supposed to make corporate executives uncomfortable. You are supposed to push for folks who can't push for themselves. And so I come today to tell you to keep up the good work. Continue to challenge us and continue to make us better. Continue to be "yes I know what you did yesterday, but what are you going to do tomorrow." Continue to make sure that individuals are sitting on the edge of their seats versus leaning back in their seats when it comes down to meeting the needs of individuals who cannot help themselves.
British Petroleum, as far as I'm concerned, there shouldn't be any caps as it relates to liability.
So I'm going to tell you right now, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is bigger than what we're used to. We have the environment that has been affected and we will not know the true damage to aquatic life for years to come. At the same time, we have the conservatives that are saying "less regulation." Ladies and gentlmen, less regulation brought about the fall on Wall Street. Less regulation killed those coal miners. Less regulation killed those 11 individuals that worked on that platform. Less regulation brought about this disaster, ladies and gentlemen.
Every last dividend that BP wants to give out should go towards cleaning up this Gulf and making sure that these families are made whole, to be able to teach that in this country corporate greed will not go unpunished and individuals should go to jail and individuals should pay the price for what they've done.
My track record speaks to the fight. I have a 100% Sierra Club record -- not after the spill, but before the spill.
I am glad that one of the first pieces of legislation that left the house was the Climate Change bill and that I voted for that legislation, because I can stand on solid ground, not only having a 100% Sierra Club record, not only having a history against offshore oil drilling off the coast of Florida, but also standing up when very few were there.
But I will tell you, as long as I have a card to vote in the United States Congress and when I get a voting card to vote in the United States Senate, British Petroleum will not sleep well, because they know that there's a 6'3", 250-pound member of Congress that's thinking about them and that's on them and will make them accountable in this disaster. Thank you.